"SYTYCD" Celebrates Mamma Mia Michaels

I'm guessing most of you are already pretty psyched to watch "So You Think You Can Dance" tonight, seeing as the show has been off the air for the past two weeks in deference to the Olympics. But there's another reason to get excited: Tonight's episode will also be a special tribute to the one, the only, Mia Michaels.

What would "SYTYCD" be without Mamma Mia? Many talented choreographers have earned national fame thanks to the show, but it was Michaels (along with Wade Robson—come back, Wade!) who took the limited "SYTYCD" format and stretched it into something much bigger, something truly significant (and, frequently, something Emmy-worthy). Her pieces bring out the best in the "SYTYCD" dancers, who describe working with her as a transformational experience. Mia's been off doing some very impressive things recently—starring in Step Up Revolution and making moves for Tom Cruise, to name just a couple—but here's hoping she never gets too busy for "SYTYCD." I think a lot of us will always consider it her home.

Tonight we'll see a new group number, choreographed by Michaels, of course. Then the Top 14 will perform seven of her classic routines from past seasons. If you'd like to refresh your memory before the show—or if you just want to watch some beautiful dance—here are the memorable Mia pieces that'll be revived tonight. Enjoy!

"Time"

Lacey & Neil

Season 3

"Hometown Glory"

Katee & Joshua

Season 4

"Mercy," aka "The Door Piece"


Katee & Twitch

Season 4

“Dreaming with a Broken Heart,” aka "The Bed Piece"


Kherington & Twitch

Season 4

“Calling You,” aka "The Bench Piece"

Travis & Heidi

Season 2

“Gravity,” aka "The Addiction Piece"


Kayla & Kupono

Season 5

“Koop Island Blues,” aka "The Butt Piece"


Randi & Evan

Season 5

Photo by Joe Toreno

The coolest place she's ever performed:

I'd have to say the Super Bowl. The field was so cool, and Katy Perry was right there. And there were so many eyes—definitely the most eyes I've ever performed for!


Something she's constantly working on:

My feet. I'm flat-footed, so I'm always hearing, 'Point your toes!' And I'm like, 'I am!'


Signature look:

My hair! That, and a pair of leggings with a T-shirt or tank top.


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