What is Karina Smirnoff’s Net Worth?
Karina Smirnoff is a Ukrainian professional ballroom dancer who has a net worth of $6 million. Karina Smirnoff is best known for being a regular competitor on the dance competition television series “Dancing with the Stars.” Over the show’s run, she won the 13th season with actor J. R. Martinez, and was runner-up in seasons 3 and 17. Beyond “Dancing with the Stars,” Smirnoff has won multiple championships at the US Open, Asian Open, and Dutch Open, among other events.
She embarked on her professional dancing career in the United States, soon after she joined a dance school in Brooklyn, New York. Together with her dancing partner Slavik Kryklyvyy, she enjoyed tremendous success, winning several US Championships and fetching other world titles, while being named world’s second in the Latin division. Other ballroom titles she has earned include: five-time U.S. National Champion, World Trophy Champion and Asian Open Champion, among others.
As a multi-season, non-celebrity participant in ABC’s prime-time show, she has numerous partners like actor Mario Lopez (with whom she took the second place in the 3rd season and then she dated him), country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, boxer Floyd Mayweather, famed chef Rocco DiSpirito and Steve Wozniak. It was the thirteenth season of the show, when Karina and army veteran & soap opera star J. R. Martinez turned out to be winners. In addition to fetching gold, she has won runner-up title, a semi-final title, and several quarter final titles.
Early Life and Education
Karina Smirnoff was born on January 2, 1978 in Kharkiv in what was then Soviet Ukraine. She is of Russian and Greek ancestry, and is an only child. Smirnoff got into ballroom dancing fairly early on, starting to compete at the age of 11. In 1993, she immigrated to the US. There, Smirnoff went to a number of different schools, from Nerinx Hall High School in St. Louis, Missouri to Christopher Columbus High School in the Bronx borough of New York City. Ultimately, she completed her secondary education at the Bronx High School of Science. Smirnoff went on to attend Fordham University, from which she graduated with degrees in economics and information systems programming.
Starting off her dance career, Smirnoff had a notable partnership with Roman Nabatov. The pair competed as an amateur couple before ending their partnership in early 1997. The following year, Smirnoff began dancing with British ballroom dancer Paul Killick; they eventually broke off their partnership in the summer of 1999. Immediately after this, Smirnoff started dancing with Dutch-American dancer Louis Van Amstel. Following their split in late 2000, Smirnoff had her most successful dance partnership yet with Slavik Kryklyvyy, with whom she danced from 2001 to 2005.
After her partnership with Kryklyvyy ended in 2005, Smirnoff danced with Dmitri Timokhin. Together, the pair won first place at the Grand-Prix Dynamo in Moscow in 2006.
Championships and Honors
Smirnoff has won numerous dance championships during her career. Among them, she has won multiple US Open, Asian Open, Dutch Open, and US National Professional titles. Smirnoff also won the UK Open, and came in second at the British Open Blackpool Dance Festival. Significantly, she is the first woman to have reached the British Professional Final with three different partners.
Dancing with the Stars
In 2006, Smirnoff joined the ABC dance competition television program “Dancing with the Stars” for its third season. Paired with celebrity partner Mario López, she finished the season in second place behind Cheryl Burke and Emmitt Smith. Smirnoff returned for season four in 2007, and was paired with singer and actor Billy Ray Cyrus; they ultimately finished in fifth. Paired with champion boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. for season five, she finished in ninth. For season six, Smirnoff and her partner Mario came in fifth. She subsequently partnered with chef Rocco DiSpirito in season seven, finishing in ninth. With Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Smirnoff came in 10th in season eight. She fared better the next season, placing fifth with singer Aaron Carter. After skipping a season, Smirnoff returned for season 11 as the partner of reality television star Mike Sorrentino; they finished in ninth. Her partner in season 12 was actor Ralph Macchio, with whom she made fourth place.