Mia Michaels is a gifted and beloved choreographer whose work has earned her 3 Emmy Awards and 2 Emmy nominations. She’s often featured as a Guest Judge and Choreographer on FOX’s hit show So You Think You Can Dance and her choreography was recently showcased on the new Hollywood Blockbuster Rock of Ages. I was offered the chance to ask Mia a couple of quick questions before the premier of SYTYCD’s 200th episode…I snuck in three.
After choreographing the group dance that we’re going to see on tomorrow’s episode, which of the new contestants are you most excited to work with and why?
You know who’s really spectacular is Eliana. She’s amazing. She’s a beast and she’s emotional and she’s powerful and her work ethic is amazing. I actually loved Daniel, the ballet guy. I really loved him and there is something really special about I call him Dare. Yes, those guys so far they’ve stuck out to me.
Do you find a dancer stands out to you more for their technique and how they execute it, or is it something less tangible?
I think it’s both. First and foremost for me is work ethic and focus and determination about really pushing themselves. These dancers are amazing but I really had to try to make them really open up. They’re performers but all the choreographers, we wanted to pull more out of them.
I think it’s all in there and as soon as they hit the stage it all came out and they all started performing beautifully last night, but in rehearsal I think they held back a little bit so we were all like, “Come on. Come on. Come on. Come on,” and I think that after last night’s show they got it. They clicked into what SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE is and they understand that it’s not about just looking pretty and being perfect.
It’s about going hard and opening up your soul and dancing from a much, much deeper place than just a perfect performance. It’s like blood, sweat, and tears kind of a thing and if they’re not ready to go there, go to battle every piece they do, it doesn’t stand out. I think they got that last night.
…Yes. Work ethic is everything. It really is. That’s key for sure.
You know what? It’s hard to say because it was just the first piece I did this season but I’m sure it will affect it, I think the physicality of what rock and roll was, and also the sexuality of it and the humor of what I tapped into in Rock of Ages. Who knows, it will probably leak out somewhere through the season.
What’s next for Mia? Kristin Clarke from Popculturemadness.com had a chance to ask:
I’m sure you’re quite busy with work on So You Think You Can Dance and work in film. Is there anyone or anything in particular that you would like to work with that you haven’t yet?
Absolutely. I would love to work with Tim Burton because as I’m transitioning I’m moving into directing and I want to direct musicals. I want to do film musicals and stage musicals. That’s kind of the next phase of my career. I really, really want to do that. I love his work. I love him and Baz Lurhmann. I’d love to also work with Sting, his whole catalog, the Police catalog. These people I’d love to work with.
How exciting would that be?! I would ADORE seeing this happen! One thing’s for certain: we will continue to be blown away by Mia Michaels’ talent and creativity for years to come.
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