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By Veronica Dudo

Dancing with the Stars professional dancer, Karina Smirnoff spent the weekend at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City where she hosted a party at MIXX nightclub. The 33 year old is promoting her recent fitness DVD, Shape Up With Karina Smirnoff and taught a class for a handful of Borgata employees.

The five-time U.S. National Champion made her debut on ABC’s hit reality TV competition Dancing with the Stars in 2006. Smirnoff has since partnered with Girlactik Beauty for a makeup line, launched her signature boot collection with Bearpaw, opened her very own dance studio in Woodland Hills, California and appeared on the cover of Playboy magazine’s May 2011 issue. She is engaged to Major League pitcher Brad Penny with the Detroit Tigers. The couple is planning a January 2012 wedding.

I spoke with Smirnoff inside Borgata’s Immersion Spa at The Water Club about the upcoming season of DWTS, her fitness DVD and her winter wedding.

How would you describe your fitness DVD, Shape Up With Karina Smirnoff?

It’s a great workout. Since I’m teaching this so much more now, like almost every other day and sometimes several times a day–I don’t even go to any other workouts and I feel like my body is toned but its lighter. Usually, when I do other workouts I get bulky, I feel like my muscles get heavy because you toughen them up, this one you’re using your own body weight. In a dance class in L.A. that I teach and guys wear very light wrist weights I think about one pound or a couple of pounds only so they can get a little more definition because guys want more muscles girls don’t–we want muscles but we want little tiny muscles.

For women, this workout will help to keep their muscles lean?

That’s the whole idea I think we want to be lean, we want to have long muscles we want to have great tone and no dimples or cellulite the unwanted one just the wanted dimples (laughs) so it’s a workout that’s based a little bit on dancing and all the other fitness forms that I went through in my life: yoga and Pilates and just from going to different classes and also a lot of steps that dancers do themselves to stay in shape because you want certain muscles. Once you work let’s say on your outer inner thighs you’re automatically able to engage your abs in my workout so it’s not like you only concentrate on one muscle group–you do that muscle group but indirectly you affect other muscle groups as well so I’m super excited about this. I have a guy in Canada who’s a firefighter and he lost 57 pounds in five weeks so I know it’s effective but he did it almost every day, he did it six times a week.

karina smirnoff teaching Stars At The Shore: Karina Smirnoff

(credit: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa)

Has the DVD been a way for you to share your favorite workouts with your fans?

It’s funny, the way the whole idea came about and the way the DVD came into light is that I’ve been teaching dancing my whole life since 1995, I turned professional very, very young so a lot of my students wanted to have a class that strengths their core and back because when dancing you use your back sometimes even more than your sector in the front and your arms so over the years I’ve developed this workout that I teach around the country to my dance students at different studios and they all kept asking me when I would do my DVD because they would get this class when I was in town and they wouldn’t when I leave so then little by little we started implementing it into the studios that I would teach some of the dancers to teach the same class. I think it was about a year and a half or two years ago–time flies–that the DVD came into life and we finally produced it the way I wanted to and we paired up with Shape Up Skechers and I think it enhances the workout even more because you have to really work on the core to make sure you balance and yeah, it’s doing really, really well.

Will you be part of season 13 Dancing with the Stars cast?

You know, I can’t reveal I can’t say yes or no but I’m going to tell you that I’m very, very excited! I’m trying to be politically correct! (Laughs)

You’re getting married soon how are the wedding plans coming along?

Yes, in January! It’s like time flies! When we finally set the date I thought I’d have like a little under a year to plan everything and now it’s less than six months away so it’s a lot of work but it is the best time of your life–when people say it’s the best time, it truly is.

karina smirnoff at mixx Stars At The Shore: Karina Smirnoff

(credit: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa)

What has been the response to your Playboy spread?

You know, I was very nervous about doing Playboy but because it was so classy and it was done in such a tasteful way the response was amazing. I had multiple like hundreds and thousands of messages on my website, on Twitter, on Facebook after the issue came out about how classy that they really appreciate that I went the classier way. As a woman we are getting older, no one’s getting younger unfortunately and I wanted to do something that celebrates the beauty of a woman’s body and I work so hard to be a dancer and to keep my body in healthy shape that I thought it would be a perfect avenue to show that and when I’m like 55, 60, 80, 90; I can always open it up and be like, ‘That was me!’ And people are going to be like, ‘No it wasn’t.’ (Laughs)

What other projects do you have coming up?

I have a makeup line with Girlactik makeup. It is super cool, it’s unbelievable quality, its great colors, it’s very healthy; you can wear it all day long you can dance in it, you can workout it doesn’t clog your pores, it something that we’ve been working on for two years and it’s out. We produced new products, new colors, new shadows, and new glosses. One of my favorite products is definitely the mascara because it’s so dark. I also have a line with Bearpaw boots which is the competitor of UGG’s but they’re all natural, they’re durable and they’re very affordable.

Photo Credit: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
For the August 26 weekend, Human Nature will be appearing at Caesars Casino while Straight No Chaser headlines at Harrah’s Resort and the Borgata welcomes Frankie Valli, Donny Osmond, and Lynyrd Skynyrd to the resort.

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