Stargazing

Karina Smirnoff leaving ‘Dancing With the Stars’

Long-time pro Karina Smirnoff, who competed on “Dancing With the Stars” last season with Randy Couture, is leaving the show.
Long-time pro Karina Smirnoff, who competed on “Dancing With the Stars” last season with Randy Couture, is leaving the show. ABC

Long-time “Dancing With the Stars” pro Karina Smirnoff is leaving the ABC show.

The new lineup of pros and celebrity dancers for Season 20 will be announced on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday. But Smirnoff told her fans of her departure in an Instagram post on Tuesday.

“Many of you have been asking if I will be back for season 20 of DWTS and I wanted all of my incredible family to hear it directly from me. After a lot of thought and prayer, I've decided to focus my energies on some other exciting endeavors including adding author to my resume,” she wrote to her fans.

“I have absolutely loved dancing for all of you for all these years and feel blessed to have been given a platform to put my passion for dance, choreography and creativity on display.

“DWTS has been a huge part of my life for the last 10 years and I will always have a special place in my heart for it. I am thrilled that now you will be seeing more of me in new arenas in the days and weeks to come.”

Smirnoff won the mirrored trophy ball once, with soap star J.R. Martinez in Season 13 and has competed nearly every year since joining the show in Season 3.

(Her freestyle dance with Martinez remains one of Stargazing’s favorite “DWTS” performances ever. Watch it below.)

She’s the third veteran pro who won’t be around this season. Derek Hough is sitting out this season and Cheryl Burke recently announced she’s leaving to join a potential NBC variety show.

Smirnoff reminded fans that her first book, “We're Just Not That Into You – Dating Disasters From the Trenches,” came out on Tuesday “and I look forward to hearing from you as you read it! I love all of you so very much and couldn't feel more grateful for your support in all that I do! #werejustnotthatintoyou.”

Season 20 of “Dancing with the Stars” premieres March 16.

  Comments