Mia Michaels

Tamara Warta
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Mia Michaels is one of today's hottest choreographers thanks to her success with network television hits. From her early life in Florida to her momentous achievements to date, she continues to capture audiences with her stunning creations of movement.

The Early Life of Mia Michaels

Mia Michaels was born in Florida in 1965, and had dancing in her blood from the start. Her father was a dance teacher, as was her sister. Both taught her to dance, and she also spent many summers dancing at the Interlochen Center for the Arts and Jacob's Pillow, which hosts the United States' longest running dance festival each year. These years of intensive training primed her for one of the most illustrious careers a modern day choreographer has enjoyed - having her work recognized both by big name artists such as Celine Dion, as well as by the American public through the popular television show So You Think You Can Dance.

Emotion Through Movement

Mia Michaels is notorious for her powerful movements that engage the dancer's entire being, while reaching straight into the souls of those who are watching. Through this unique style of choreography, Michaels has found success both on stage and in film. One of her biggest successes was choreographing for Celine Dion's "A New Day" show in Las Vegas. The show featured 50 dancers onstage for the bulk of the 2 hour concert, and ran from 2003 until 2007 at Caesar's Palace. Michaels also choreographed for Cirque du Soleil's first tour called "Delirium", which opened in March 2006. The buzz this choreographer has generated has led her to work with many famous artists, including Madonna, Gloria Estefan, Prince and Ricky Martin. She also has gotten the chance to choreograph for commercials such as Bacardi, Ziploc, Visa, and Coldwell Banker. The beauty and work behind such commonplace commercials may not seem like much effort, but to the entertainment industry, Michaels' hard work was evident and recognized by various awards.

So You Think You Can Dance

Probably most famous for working as a choreographer and judge on the ever popular dance competition show So You Think You Can Dance, viewers have been soaking up Mia Michaels for the Fox television hit. She also choreographs for the spin off tours and has won an Emmy for her television achievements. She has choreographed contemporary and lyrical jazz pieces on SYTYCD for the past five seasons, and uses a wide variety of music for her pieces - ranging from Stevie Wonder to John Mayer.

Teaching

Michaels remains a teacher above all else, having gotten her start teaching at her father's Miami dance school and eventually founding her own company called "Reality at Work" (RAW), which began in New York in 1997. She is often profiled on SYTYCD as in the studio working with the competitors, and in 2010 she will be featured in a movie called Move. She will be playing herself and working alongside other influential names in dance including Wade Robson and Paula Abdul.

Awards and Accolades

Mia Michaels has won and been nominated for many awards over the years, including:

  • Gold Leo Award for Best Choreography in 1998
  • Dance Educators of America's President Cup
  • Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography for SYTYCD Season 2 and 4 (2007, 2009)
  • Emmy Award for Outstanding Choreography for Celine in Las Vegas: Opening Night Live! In 2003
  • American Choreography Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Commercials in 2002, and Outstanding Achievement in Television in 2003.

A true success story through and through, Mia Michaels is a great example of what a combination of hard work and raw talent can allow one to accomplish. Be on the lookout for more of her work all over mainstream media, from the small screen to the big screen in the years to come.

Mia Michaels