Karina was born in St. Petersburg Russia and began ballroom dancing at the young age of five. She successfully competed in St. Petersburg in amateur division for more than fifteen years and won numerous of titles such as St. Petersburg Multi-Time Champion, Russian Open International 10 Dance Semi-Finalist, Dutch Open Ballroom under 21 years old Finalist, Multi-Time European Championship Winner and Finalist. In 1996, she graduated with honors from the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University as a Professional Ballroom and Latin Coach as well as with a Judge Degree and Qualifications. In 2002 she relocated to the United States and worked at the Fred Astaire East Side Manhattan Studio for five years. During this time Karina and her husband Vlad Ivanov continued to compete in the Professional Ballroom Division and became USA Professional International Ballroom Championship Finalists. In 2006, she moved to Syracuse NY to open and become an owner of a new Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studio.