Originally from Ukraine, Karina made her way to the US with her family at the age of 12. At the age of nine, Karina was introduced to ballroom dancing and fell in love with it. After graduating from Fordham University with a double degree, she put her academic studies on hold to pursue her ballroom dancing career in the United Kingdom.
American audiences first fell in love with Karina during season three of Dancing with the Stars, when she swung into a second place finish with partner Mario Lopez. The next season she finished fifth with Billy Ray Cyrus. The two would team up again when Karina guest starred on “Hannah Montana.” Karina also teamed up with her former DWTS partner Ralph Macchio in her first leading role in a short film, Across Grace Alley. Karina also starred in two Broadway shows, Burn the Floor and Forever Tango. In Season 13, she went all the way, winning the Mirrorball trophy with J.R. Martinez as her partner.