Los Angeles -
"You did so good yesterday. I'm so proud of you."
Behind every good man....there's a strong woman....and in this relationship slash dance team.....that woman is Karina Smirnoff.
She was born in the Ukraine....at 14 she moved to the Bronx with her Russian mom and Greek father.... dancing was already in her blood.
"I've done ballroom before when I was in the Ukraine but in the states we weren't able to find a studio that had a lot of kids dancing in New York."
After a three year break she was back in action....competing professionally...winning awards representing the U.S. at various competitions.
In 2005....following a successful British TV. series....the U.S.. version of Dancing with the stars was born.
"I got on the show in season 3. My first partner was Mario Lopez and we went all the way to the final just to come in second place to Emmit Smith."
In season 13 Karina won her first mirror ball trophy.
Her partner army veteran and soap J.R. Martinez beat out Rob Kardashian and Cheryl Burke.
"We work so hard everyday at the studio just so we can get one minute and 30 seconds on the stage to feel what we want it to be."
The 34 year old says dancing is tough work....but she's an artist....doing a job she loves.
"It's a way to transfer emotions into movement and share it with the audience. To me, it's the coolest thing ever."
While it's cool for us.....cheering on Jacoby Jones...Karina's on a mission to make their duo a winning team on a show that "steps up" the art of dance...week after week.
"It has been an incredible journey. I don't think anybody believed, thought or even imagined the show as gonna get so big and have such a longevity."