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About Phillip

Choreographer for Skaters at 23 World Championships and 6 Olympic Games

Phillip Mills

With skaters in six Olympic Games and having choreographed programs for 26 U.S. National and International Champions in singles, pairs, and dance, Phillip has also been actively involved in all aspects of figure skating. He has been faculty for Team USA Camps, U.S. Figure Skating Coaches College and numerous U.S. Figure Skating Judges Schools. These contributions keep Phillip tuned into the continual and ever-growing changes in the sport.

During the 2019 -2020 season, Phillip choreographed over 40 programs for skaters from around the U.S. and the globe. He enjoyed the experience of not only creating both of Polina Edmonds new programs but also having had the time to continue to help develop her beautiful lines and presence on the ice. And his former student, turned internationally successful choreographer, Misha Ge, invited Phillip to craft the short program for rising Japanese star Kazuki Tomono. The Japanese press, in conjunction with a film crew, came to the Lake Forest, California for a week to create a mini-documentary about Phillip’s process and the development of Kazuki’s beautiful skating. Click Here to watch the video.

Currently serving in his second term on the Board of Governors of the Professional Skaters Association, Phillip plays a proactive role on the Board. In 2019, he worked with the PSA Board to create a brand-new category for the Edi Awards for “President’s Award of Excellence.” This award is given to a number of coaches around the country each year. 

President’s Award of Excellence

Phillip is also the recipient of the coveted Jimmy Disbrow Award given by United States Figure Skating to an individual who has been extensively involved with the skating community over the years. Award winners are selected because they create smiles wherever they go, and exemplify the same zest for life that Jimmy Disbrow embodied. And Phillip was twice nominated to the USFS Hall of Fame.

Sporting a rather unique history and background prior to becoming an international and Olympic choreographer, Phillip brings an uncanny ability to learn new ways to move and to help choreograph others’ movements. While in high school, Phillip was a champion gymnast. In order to move his gymnastics career forward, Phillip decided to take ballet lessons, most unusual for a young man during that time. This propelled his gymnastics accomplishments and ultimately led to a full scholarship at the illustrious American Ballet Theatre. Little did he know he would soon join a European ballet company and become an international star performer. And he morphed once again into excellence with amazingly smooth moves on the ice as he entered the world of choreographing for competitive figure skating.

Phillip presents numerous Creative Edge Seminars at rinks across the country. In recent years he has co-led programs with the likes of Max Aaron, Ryan Bradley, Mellissa Vriner, and Aidas Reklys.

For those wanting to understand how he honed his skills in the early years, Phillip joined Carlo Fassi as the choreographer for the world-class training center at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs in 1988. He later joined Carlo again at the famous Ice Castle International Figure Skating Training Center in Lake Arrowhead, California as Choreographer and Artistic Director of Ice Castle's International Ice Theatre. Teaming together with John Nicks in 2011, Phillip and Mr. Nicks worked together helping Ashley Wagner become the first US National Champion to repeat the title since Michelle Kwan.

The 2013-1014 season was a breakthrough time for another of Phillip’s Olympic skaters, Tatsuki Machida. In their second year of intensive ballet training together, they worked as a team to stretch Tatsuki’s artistry and skating and performance skills. During this season, Tatsuki was the World Silver Medalist, placed 5th at the Olympics, became the Japanese National Silver Medalist, placed 4th at the Grand Prix Final and took Gold at both Skate America and Cup of Russia. In the fall of the 2014-2015 season, Tatsuki earned Gold at Skate America with his two new rich and complex programs. He was the Silver medalist at Trophee Eric Bompard and unexpectedly retired early in the season to focus on his studies.

Phillip’s long and successful history includes creating acclaimed programs for the likes of Michelle Kwan, Sasha Cohen, Ekaterina Gordeeva, Deanna Stellato, Courtney Hicks, Tara Lipinski, Rena Inoue & John Baldwin, Calla Urbanski & Rocky Marval, Nicole Bobek, Suzie Wynne & Joseph Druar, Elaine Zayak, and Jill Trenary just to name a few.

The list of National Champions in the U.S. and abroad.

On May 7, 2024, a group of amazing coaches, skaters, and officials came together on a surprise Zoom Celebration to honor Phillip’s induction into the PSA Hall of Fame. You can watch it  here:

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