Those of us who’ve been tuning in to the new season of So You Think You Can Dance may have noticed the absence of regular choreographer Mia Michaels this week as the top-twenty dancers took the stage to perform for the first time. Being absent for an episode or two wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for this show, as the dance competition series features numerous choreographers, however, after Michaels’ implied that she was leaving the series, stating on her Twitter page that she was officially an adoring fan of the show, fans began speculating over what happened that prompted the choreographer, who has contributed to some of the most memorable dances in the show’s history, to move on with her career. Today, People.com posted an interview with Michaels, in which she explains her choice to leave, her shaved head and what’s ahead for her.
In terms of her decision to leave the show, Michaels stated:
“It’s been an amazing five-year journey and I am in a place where I have all these great opportunities that have been presented to me and I am ready to take on all these challenges. So when I was working on the show, I wasn’t able to really focus on anything else. Now I’m really focusing on these other projects that I can’t pass up. I think that’s pretty much the main reason why I left the show.”
What kind of things will she be focusing on now that she’s not spending her time helping two fortunate dancers attempt to win over the viewers with a fabulous contemporary number? Michaels mentioned that she’s in talks to do her own choreography show. She’s also working on a dance musical that she says will be documented and possibly turned into a doc-reality show. Between those projects, her work on some of the other versions of SYTYCD (she mentioned Canada, the U.K. and Australia) and a line of dance-clothing she’s working on, it sounds like she has her hands full.
As for her shaved head, she doesn’t have cancer. Here’s what she said about her decision to make her already short hair even shorter:
“As far as me shaving my head, I just felt the need to get rid of it. I was kind of falling into a Hollywood image thing a little bit, and I just felt like it was a cool time to just start over. And that’s why I shaved it. And I had said on the show, “It’s been a difficult time,” and it’s like the last couple months in my life personally I’ve just been going through things … And then when I read those things I went “Oh no!” I do not have cancer. You can put that to rest.”
There are plenty of great choreographers on SYTYCD, so it’s not as though the series is going to lack for talent in that department. That said, putting the occasionally uppity attitude of hers aside, Michaels’ has always shined in drawing talent from dancers as well as delivering routines that are both visually and emotionally appealing. For that reason more than any other, I’m sad to see her go but it should be interesting to see if the other TV-related projects she mentioned take off.