Dancing (and Chatting) with Karina Smirnoff about Luxury and Fitness

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If you are going to learn to dance, you might as well learn from the best. Dancing with the Stars alum Karina Smirnoff and Henry Byalikov were in New York on Wednesday as part of JCPenney’s New Year New You campaign where their new fitness apparel takes center stage in helping people look cool while getting in shape and setting your fitness goals. Karina looked amazingly fit in JCPenney’s Xersion and CityStreets Activewear lines as she led dance classes and juiced healthy treats with JCPenney’s Bella High Power Juice Extractor and Magic Bullet Blender.

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After the hour-long dance class, I chatted with Karina about what she likes to do once she puts the dance shoes away and heads out for the night.  The Ukraine-born professional dancer now lives in LA, but was raised in New York and calls this home.

RL: Today we are having juice, but after the day is done what are some of your favorite places to go out to eat in New York?

KS: “I like Tao and Lavo in New York. I like Asian food, especially Japanese, because it’s healthier. I like Italian food too, but after you eat Italian food, you just go home and then the next day you go to the gym for like 8 hours,” she laughs.

RL: What are some of your luxury fashion favorites?

KS: “Pretty much what I see when I walk into Neimans, Nordstrom’s, and Saks Fifth Avenue. I’m a fan of Armani. I know they make mostly black outfits so not a lot of color but it’s very sexy. I’m a huge fan of Tom Ford, obviously. I think some of the best collections were when Tom Ford was designing for Gucci. That was beyond brilliant. I also love Oscar de la Renta if you want to go feminine and chic.”

RL: What about vacations – When you leave LA and NY where do you like to go?

KS: “Definitely, one of the best places – because I’ve been there several times – is Phuket in Thailand. The water is ridiculously warm and they say there are no sharks. I don’t believe it though. I stayed at either the JW Marriot or Le Meridian in Phuket and it was one of the best vacations I’ve ever had.” She continues, “I have a package for the St. Regis in Bora Bora. I think you have to go there either with your significant other or as a honeymoon. You can’t do a girls trip there, it’s too romantic.”