Karina Smirnoff Announces Departure from Dancing with the Stars

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It may not have sent the same sort of shockwaves around the Internet as Jon Stewart announcing his retirement from The Daily Show, Karina Smirnoff confirmed a departure of her own from the small screen yesterday:

She will not return to Dancing with the Stars.

Karina Smirnoff on 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 last night on Instagram.

"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."

Smirnoff, who has been a DWTS professional for 16 seasons, recently released her first book, "We're Just Not That Into You: Dating Disasters From the Trenches."

"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," she continued. "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."

Smirnoff first joined the ABC competition on season three in 2006, competing with Mario Lopez and finishing second at the time behind Cheryl Burke and Emmitt Smith.

She has competed in every season since except season 10, with one championship to show for it: on season 13, she danced to the title with soap opera star J.R. Martinez.

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