Mia Michaels doesn’t have cancer, quit to focus on other projects, like SYTYCD in UK, Canada

A week after quitting So You Think You Can Dance and then remaining silent, Emmy-winning choreographer Mia Michaels has finally explained why she left the show. The short answer: She has better things to do, including working on other countries’ versions of the show.

Mia told People, “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.”

She did call that “the main reason why I left the show,” but doesn’t offer any minor reasons. She also said “nobody tried to talk me out of it,” and also said she’s “scheduled to do the U.K., and Australian [versions of the show], as well as the new Canadian season three, so it’s not like I need a break because creatively I feel like I have a lot to say right now.”

It sounds very much like she just didn’t want to be associated with the Fox version for some reason. Mia also said that she’s “in talks of doing my own choreography show. I’m also doing a dance musical that will probably be documented as a doc-reality show.”

Finally, Mia’s surprising physical appearance in the final Las Vegas episode–her head was shaved–prompted many people to speculate that she was ill, and her cryptic remarks only added to that. But she told People, “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.”

Mia Michaels: Why I Left So You Think You Can Dance [People]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.