Credit: MGM Grand

Looks like everyone’s excitedly waiting to see which alums will make it into Dancing With the Stars’ All-Star season … including the pros! Wetpaint Entertainment recently chatted with dance pro and Season 13 Mirror Ball champion Karina Smirnoff to discuss her dream All-Stars picks, how she picked the song for Donald Driver’s winning freestyle dance, which of her own former partners she’s closest to and more!

Wetpaint Entertainment: Who would you love to see come back for All-Stars?
That's a good question. There are so many fan favorites who also danced so well. Personally, I'd love to see JR [Martinez] and Mario [Lopez] return, but I think the public is probably best suited to give their input. They're the ones tuning in and voting.

Does it look like you'll be back for the All-Star season?
I really hope so! I love dancing, choreographing, designing costumes, my DWTS family and all the celebrities we get to meet. To me, it's the best job in town.

Do you know if it will be old partners dancing together or old contestants with new partners?
I honestly don't know. I think either way they spin it, the All-Stars season is going to be incredibly competitive, entertaining and a lot of fun.

Do you still keep in touch with JR?
I definitely keep in touch with JR. When you spend that amount of time with someone, becoming lifelong friends is inevitable. Especially to experience winning with someone who was a year earlier in a hospital bed being told he may never walk again — that was an incredibly life changing season for me, that’s for sure.

What other partners do you see or speak to the most?
[Season 12 partner] Ralph Macchio is one of my closest friends. We even celebrated New Year’s Eve together in New York City to ring in 2012. He and his wife and kids have become my extended family. I'm so grateful to have them in my life.

We heard you were involved in picking Peta Murgatroyd's song for the freestyle this year. How did that happen?
Peta was thinking of doing a straight hip-hop song for the freestyle. Having worked with Donald for the dance trio, I thought he needed a song that really made a statement and what better way than to incorporate Donald's roots with the dance?

I did something similar last season with J.R. using his Latin roots to inspire the Salsa and Afro-Cuban hip -hop. So with Donald, his being from Texas made me think a country/line dance also fused with hip-hop would be brilliant for them.

Cowboy Troy is a personal favorite country artist of mine and “I Play Chicken With The Train” is exactly what you want in a freestyle song. To me it was a no-brainer. I'm glad they went with it and it proved to be perfect 10's

Stay tuned for Part Two of our interview with Karina where we talk to her about how she keeps her bod in perfect shape!

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