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'Dancing' pros become stars on Broadway

Hollywood Wrap with George Pennacchio
July 29, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
They're two familiar faces from "Dancing With the Stars," and they're together enjoying the summer job of a lifetime. Now, Maks and Karina are the stars.For several seasons, Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy have offered their professional skills on the popular TV dance competition. Occasionally, we've even seen them dance together.

Now they're pairing up and tearing up on a different stage. Maks and Karina are headlining the Broadway hit, "Burn the Floor."

They're part of the ensemble cast of the energy-filled production, which is considered ballroom dancing, reinvented.

"It's very important for me, for the show, to do well, because our names are attached to it and because I just want to see ballroom dancing go on to that next level," said Maksim. "This is definitely a next level for everybody in our business."

"I think this is a dream we both had for years, but we never thought that we would actually do Broadway ballroom dancing together," said Karina. "It's like a miracle."

And it's something they share with their fellow dancers.

"People's perception of ballroom is Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers," said Karina. "It's all so very soft and smooth. But ballroom's got a wild side to it for sure, and 'Burn the Floor' is very wild and very sexy."

"I'm just happy my mom will be able to take a picture next to the billboard next to the theatre," said Maksim. "It's kind of like an asterisk, like a checkmark next to 'been there, done that.' But it's definitely a stepping stone -- a huge one."

Maks and Karina are in "Burn the Floor" through August 16.

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