Dancing with the Stars pro Karina Smirnoff shows how.

Season after season, celebs like Joey Fatone, Kirstie Alley, Kelly Osbourne and countless others shed dozens of pounds on the dance floor as they compete for the coveted mirror-ball trophy on Dancing with the Stars. International championship ballroom dancer and DWTS pro, Karina Smirnoff says by the end of a season, both the celebrities and the pros have shed weight.

“Everybody loses weight. Including the dancers. We all start the season all plump and healthy-looking, then at the end of the show we’re ripped, fit and skinny because we dance so much and eat so little,” Smirnoff said.

She says any non-celebrity-regular-person looking to lose weight should consider dancing. “You’ll have sore muscles in places you didn’t know you had muscles.” Smirnoff says the reason dance is so great in terms of sticking to it is that most other exercise is monotonous, with repeated laps, revolutions, and poses. “You can dance for hours and you don’t even realize you’ve burned a lot of calories or that you even worked out.”

Dancing at home is standard operating procedure at Smirnoff’s house. She just cranks the tunes and moves, even while she’s cooking. She suggests starting a routine by taking classes—to learn dances like salsa, tango and jive. “Jive is high-energy as well as a great cardio and full-body workout,” she says. Classes help eliminate boredom because there are other people there to keep students occupied and make it social.

At her studio, Karina Smirnoff Dance Studio, in Woodland Hills, Calif., Smirnoff says most people sign up with one goal in mind: Weight loss. Her studio offers a program called DanceFit KS with Shape Up classes geared specifically to work all of the various muscle groups, burn calories and prepare students to learn more challenging types of dance. And the better and stronger they get, the harder they work to tackle more difficult moves, and the more weight they lose. You don’t have to be a star to learn to dance for fitness either, just pop in Smirnoff’s DVD, Shape Up with Karina, at home. 

Once you decide to get in shape, Smirnoff says dance is definitely the way to go. “Work it out dancing. You will definitely sweat your ass off.”


  1. Shape Up with Karina
  2. Karin Smirnoff Dance Studio