Karina Smirnoff Leaving 'Dancing With the Stars'

by Zach Seemayer 10:14 PM PST, February 10, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

Another Dancing With the Stars favorite is saying goodbye to the popular ABC dance reality competition series.

Pro dancer Karina Smirnoff, who got engaged in January, took to Instagram on Tuesday to announce her departure from DWTS.

"Many of you have been asking if I will be back for season 20 of DWTS and I wanted all of my incredible family to hear it directly from me," Smirnoff wrote. "After a lot of thought and prayer, I've decided to focus my energies on some other exciting endeavors including adding author to my resume."

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Karina made her DWTS debut in the show's third season where she came in second, almost securing the coveted mirror ball trophy. Since her start in 2006, she's appeared in 16 straight seasons of the show – except season 10. Karina finally came in first in season 13, when she was partnered with J.R. Martinez.

"I have absolutely loved dancing for all of you for all these years and feel blessed to have been given a platform to put my passion for dance, choreography and creativity on display," Smirnoff continues. "DWTS has been a huge part of my life for the last 10 years and I will always have a special place in my heart for it. I am thrilled that now you will be seeing more of me in new arenas in the days and weeks to come."

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Karina is the latest in a score of DWTS regulars to leave the show, including dancer Cheryl Burke, fan favorite Derek Hough, and head judge Len Goodman.

The 20th season of Dancing With the Stars premieres March 16 on ABC.