BLOOMFIELD HILLS (WWJ) – One of the pros from “Dancing With the Stars” is lending a hand to a special fundraiser for the Detroit Tigers.
WWJ’s Sandra McNeill caught up with TV star Karina Smirnoff at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bloomfield Hills, where she is helping Detroit Tiger’s wives and girlfriends learn to dance for a dancing show in August to benefit Jack’s Place, which helps families of children with autism.
Smirnoff, who is the fiance of Tiger pitcher Brad Penny, said her best advice for the ladies is to just have fun.
Watch a rehearsal video:
“You’ve gotta enjoy your performance, let the audience know that you’re having fun,” said Smirnoff, “because the moment you start hesitating, doubting or get nervous, it comes across in the performance and then people kinda get nervous with you.”
Will we get to see Penny’s dancing skills at the event?
“You know what, he has twinkle toes,” Smirnoff said. “People will not expect him to dance but he’s a great dancer, he’s just too shy to do it at first. I mean, he does a mean electric slide, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller, I think he’s better than Michael Jackson.”
Smirnoff said she’s trying to get Penny to show his stuff in their January wedding in a Footloose routine, but Penny’s not too keen on that.
Justin Verlander’s girlfriend Emily Yuen said her Tiger boyfriend isn’t too sure about what goes on during their rehearsals, but she thinks all the girls are making progress.
“I think he has a mental picture of it being like the real show. So, he probably thinks Maksim from the show is in here or something with no clothes on but, it’s very professional in here,” Yuen said.
Smirnoff also said she’s very impressed with how the Tiger wives have been doing so far, but she’s a little sad she can’t stay in Detroit longer.
“But, I do have to go back to work in L.A. because, you know, someone has to make money in the family I guess,” Smirnoff joked.
The dancing fundraiser will take place August 1 at 6:30 pm at Joe Louis Arena. General admission tickets cost $65 and include valet parking, or you can purchase premium seats close to the dance floor for $300, which include valet parking, cocktails and dinner.
For more information, visit jacksplaceforautism.com.