In the midst of critical praise and a plethora of Emmy nominations, outside of the dance world, So You Think You Can Dance is arguably underrated in the reality TV genre. While people flock more to see celebrities try to dance, in a world of abounding reality competitions, the majority singing related, So You Think You Can Dance rests in a comfortable niche amongst its fans nearly midway through Season 9. After cuts by the Fox network this season, eliminating the show’s third hour each week and combining eliminations into the performance episode, many feared that this might spell the end of the reality TV gem.
Stepping aside from that uncertainty and setting aside (for just a moment) the UNBELIEVABLE talent the show has given us summer after summer (and even during the lockout inspired winter season), the SYTYCD dancers would not be able to shine as they do without the brilliance of the choreographers that stand behind them and work with them week after week. Among the many greats who have been nominated for industry awards, including the prestigious Emmys, stands out Mia Michaels. After a multi-season absence, the contestants on the show’s ninth season will bare all on stage to pay homage to one of dance’s greats.
In addition to her work for the Fox reality series, Mia has dedicated her career to working with some of the industry greats, including Celine Dion, Madonna, Ricky Martin, Tom Cruise, Gloria Estefan and Prince … just to name a few. In 2005, she choreographed Dion’s Vegas show, “A New Day,” for which she snagged an Emmy nomination. Just two years later, Michaels went home with an Emmy award for Outstanding Choreography for “Calling You,” which was showcased on SYTYCD’s 2nd season. In 2010, Michaels won three Emmys in the same category for “Koop Island Blues,” “Gravity,” and “One.” The following year, she earned Emmys for “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” “When We Dance,” “This Bitter Earth/On the Nature of Daylight,” putting her at a “tie” that year with fellow SYTYCD choreographers Tabitha and Napolean D’Umo. She was also stationed as a permanent judge on the show’s 7th season, alongside Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe and Step Up producer Adam Shankman.
To SYTYCD fans dismay, in 2009, Mia announced via Twitter that she will be leaving the show after five wonderful years. The door was, however, always open for a potential return. Since then, Michaels has expanded her choreography resume, worked on a clothing line and picked up a book deal. It was about a year later when her return to the show was confirmed.
Mia is the founder, artistic director, and choreographer for her New York based dance company, RAW (Reality at Work), which has been around since 1997.
With that, the remaining 14 dancers on SYTYCD’s ninth season will pay tribute to a choreographer whose pieces have struck the hearts of MANY around the world. As Season 4’s Joshua noted after performing “Hometown Glory,” “It’s so much more than dancing.”
Filled with raw emotion and storytelling (and a little bit of fun), we’ve chosen some of the many inspiring and breathtaking pieces Mia Michaels has given the show. So, sit back, enjoy and look forward to tonight’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance, which airs at 8/7c on Fox. You don’t want to miss it! That’s our Yak guarantee!
Which routines are you hoping to see tonight?