Choreographer for Skaters at 23 World Championships
and 6 Olympic Games
“I hope that if you were to teach tennis you would have a racket,” said the legendary figure skating coach Carlo Fassi to Phillip over 20 years ago. This was a pivotal moment in the life of Phillip Mills as he once again reinvented himself to become a successful ice skating choreographer to World and Olympic competitors and elite figure skaters. It was then that Phillip, who had most recently been a professional ballet dancer, knew he was about to learn how to ice skate.
Phillip Mills has 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 – a most unusual action for a young man during that time. This propelled his gymnastics accomplishments and 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.
With more than 25 U.S. National Champions in singles, pairs, and dance, Phillip has also been faculty for Team USA Camps, U.S. Figure Skating Coaches College and numerous U.S. Figure Skating Judges Schools. This involvement keeps Phillip tuned into the continued and ever-growing changes in figure skating.
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.
Phillip has also created acclaimed programs for the likes of Michelle Kwan, Sasha Cohen, Katia Gordeeva, 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.
During the 2014 – 2015 season Phillip’s three years of work with Tatsuki Machida culminated with Phillip choreographed Ashley Wagner’s short and long programs for the 2012 and 2013 seasons and her short program in 2009. Also during the 2013-2014 season he created programs for international medalists Tatsuki Machida, Rionna Kato, Tsao Chih-I and Michael Martinez.
The 2013-1014 season was a breakthrough time for Tatsuki Machida. In their second season 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, he 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.
For the 2017 -2018 season, Phillip choreographed programs for numerous skaters from the U.S and around the globe. He has enjoyed the experience of creating programs for 8 National competitors in Senior ladies, Senior pairs, Junior ladies, Junior pairs and Novice men.
The list goes on. See Skaters & Testimonials
The list of National Champions in the U.S. and abroad.
Polina Edmunds - US
Yaroslav Panoit - Ukraine
Sarah Grieve - Canada
Harua Banba - Japan
Vera Simonian - Armenia
Louwee Shibata, Aiko Shibata, Tara Baldoz,
Jennifer Fernandez, Brandon Baldoz- Philippines