Dancing With a Star

Reality-show celeb shows Clevelanders some moves.

Three months after finishing in fifth place on Dancing With the Stars, International Latin-dance champ Karina Smirnoff shows you how to bust similar sexy moves at Viva Dance! Studio today. The 29-year-old Ukraine native may also reveal how she transformed onetime country-music star Billy Ray Cyrus from a klutzy mullet-farmer into a bona fide dancing machine on the ABC hit. “He had that emotional block, and she’s a fiery girl,” says Viva Dance! owner Rebecca Sweet. “She’s a world-class pro. She did what she had to do.”

Smirnoff made a name for herself six years ago, when she copped the first of five consecutive DanceSport championships with partner Slavik Kryklyvvy. As today’s guest instructor, she’ll lead students in several hour-long classes -- starting with an 11 a.m. session called Creating Dynamics Through Body Movement. At 12:15 p.m., she’ll shift gears with jive-dancing basics. She’ll then move on to paso doble lessons at 1:30 p.m., followed by a 3:30 p.m. overview of arm-movement fundamentals. Smirnoff will cap the day with a lesson on special dance turns at 4:45 p.m. “She’s exploded onto the scene,” says Sweet, who’s crossed paths with Smirnoff many times over the past 10 years on the competitive-dance circuit. “She’s down-to-earth and very giving. She just wants to teach dance to people who want to improve themselves.” Just ask Saved by the Bell’s Mario Lopez. On last year’s Dancing With the Stars, he and Smirnoff fox-trotted into second place. The pair is now romantically linked. “It’s obvious she tries to get the most out of people she’s working with,” says Sweet. “Whatever their desire, willingness, or skill level.”
Sat., Aug. 4, 11 a.m.-5:45 p.m.