Choreographer Mia Michaels, a native of Coconut Grove, Florida, was born to a family of dancers. Her father, Joe Michaels, was well-versed in jazz and ballet; her sister, in contemporary. Apart from them teaching her, she also trained at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and later at the New World School of the Arts. She began her career when she worked with her father at the Miami Dance Center, and went on to teach dance in numerous schools, including her alma mater, as well as the Harid Conservatory and the Broadway Dance Center.
Michaels is also known for choreographing dance routines for concert tours, music videos, plays and other performances. Specializing in contemporary dance, she worked on Celine Dion’s Las Vegas shows as well as the Cirque du Soleil’s first tour, Delirium. Other artists who have recruited her services include Madonna, Gloria Estefan and Prince. She also founded her own dance company, the New York-based Reality at Work, for which she directs and choreographs since 1997. Her work earned her several awards, including two Leo Awards.
To most, Michaels is known as a guest judge and choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance. She’s worked on the contestants’ routines and group performances from its first season; her work in the second season earned her an Emmy. She became a permanent judge in the show's seventh season, but left to pursue further choreography work when it concluded.
- Emmy Award, Outstanding Choreography, 2007 (for So You Think You Can Dance)
- Emmy Award, Outstanding Choreography, 2010 (for So You Think You Can Dance)