February 27, 2010 11:30 AM by Nancy Floyd
Dancing With the Stars will be returning toÂ ABC on March 22nd, but one famous face will be noticeably absent from the dance floor: dance pro Karina Smirnoff. Sources are saying that the ballroom beauty will not be returning for the show’s tenth season, at least not as a competitor. Keep reading to find out more…
Karina Smirnoff has been a regular onÂ Dancing With the Stars since season three, strutting her stuff with stars like Mario Lopez, Aaron Carter, and Billy Ray Cyrus. Despite her past success on the show, rumors are circulating that the dance pro has not been cast in the upcoming season of theÂ ABC dance competition.
With the number of celebrity competitors being changed from 16 to 11 on the new season ofÂ Dancing With the Stars, there’s just not room for everyone. According to a source, Smirnoff wasn’t paired with one of the incoming celebrities.Â ”It wasn’t easy,” says a source. “Producers cut people based on the celebrities and who they’d be a good match with.”
Former champions,Â Cheryl Burke, Mark Ballas, and Derek Hough have all confirmed their returns to theÂ ABC dance competition, while dance pros Lacey Schwimmer and Jonathan Roberts have announced they’re among the dancers who have been cut this season.
Fans of Smirnoff’s need not worry though. They’ll still be seeing a little bit of the dancer onÂ Dancing With the Stars‘s 10th season in the role of choreographer. According to a show insider,Â she’ll continue “helping with choreography. It’s just going to be behind the scenes.” Another source confirms adds,Â ”She’s always been choreographing for the show. She’s a big part of the result shows. She’s like family there.”
Photo Courtesy of ABC