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Karina Smirnoff hopes she gets an actor for a partner when Dancing With The Stars returns March 17, so she can follow in the footsteps of DWTS alum Julianne Hough.

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And Karina could be in luck considering the upcoming season is rumored to be Oscar-themed.

“I’ve been taking a lot of acting lessons, and I think Matthew McConaughey is incredibly talented,” kind Karina, 36, tells me this week when she juices treats with the Bella High Power Juice Extractor and Magic Bullet Blender during the JCPenney New Year, New You event held in NYC. “I’m a huge fan of his acting. I have a group of actors that I literally study. I study their timing, their delivery, and Matthew is on that list.”

Regardless of the Oscar outcome, Bradley Cooper would be welcome on the show, and Karina notes that nominees Amy Adams and Cate Blanchett would also fare well.

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“Bradley showed some moves in Silver Linings Playbook. Even if he doesn’t win an Oscar, we would love to have him. Bradley, come on out!”

In fact, Karina’s acting career is starting to blossom thanks to season 12 partner Ralph Macchio, who casted her in a role in the short film Across Grace Alley, which he wrote and directed. It debuted  at the Santa Barbara Film Festival.

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“It’s exciting and nerve-wracking when you see your grill on the big screen. I was like ‘oh gosh, is that my nose?’ It takes you a minute to stop looking at all the features because they jump at you.”

For Karina, one of the perks of being a dancer on DWTS is the celebs she gets to meet.

“It allows us to meet people that we would never meet in our lives,” she says. “I met Muhammad Ali. I was starstruck, and I froze. He waved me over, and we took a picture. It made my year. It was incredible.”

As for other actors who top her DWTS wish list?

“Ryan Gosling, Ryan Guzman from Step Up—he would be great. Either of the Ryans are amazing. They are talented. They have dance experience. I have a crush on them. It would be awesome. “

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Here’s my pic with Karina, who is wearing Xersion and CityStreets Activewear, at the event:

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Are you excited for Dancing With The Stars to return? Who do you want to see Karina partnered up with? Tweet us @OKMagazine.

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