Robert Mills is a performing arts professional with nearly 40 years of experience in the dance world. Hailing from Northwest Indiana just miles outside of Chicago, Mr. Mills has been serving as Artistic Director of Oklahoma City Ballet since 2008.
Robert had access to world class ballet training at an early age. In Indiana he trained with Natalie Mayoch-Kolosci before moving on to study with some of Kolosci’s mentors in Chicago including Anna Paskevska, Richard Ellis, Christine DuBoulay and Larry Long. He completed his training at the Rock School in Philadelphia, and at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. He then enjoyed a 14-year professional performing career dancing with numerous companies across the United States including Oklahoma City Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, and Pennsylvania Ballet among others.
Throughout Mills’ tenure with Oklahoma City Ballet, patrons have enjoyed seeing the extraordinary advances in the scope and quality of the company’s work on stage. In addition to mounting ballets from important choreographers like Balanchine, Kylián, DeMille, Tharp, Duato, and Tudor; Robert has also commissioned new contemporary ballets from some of todays most acclaimed choreographers. A choreographer himself, Robert’s choreography has been seen across the U.S. and in 2017 he was selected to take part in the National Choreographers Initiative in Southern California, an honor bestowed to only four American choreographers per year. Reporting on Robert’s time with OKC Ballet, the Oklahoman newspaper wrote: “During Mills’ 10 years of artistic leadership of OKC Ballet, dance lovers in Oklahoma have had the pleasure of seeing an all-but-failed ballet company grow into a vibrant, passionate, powerful group of performers.” In 2018, Robert was presented with a Governor’s Arts Award from the state of Oklahoma for community service.
Prior to joining Oklahoma City Ballet as Artistic Director, Robert spent three years as Artistic Director of Ballet Nouveau Colorado in Denver (now called Wonderbound). Of his time in Colorado The Denver Post wrote, “Mills was instrumental in putting it on the map…Mills is now an artistic director responsible for one of Colorado’s biggest dance success stories.”
Mr. Mills is also a sought-after dance educator drawing from over 25 years of teaching experience. He teaches in Oklahoma City Ballet’s Yvonne Chouteau School and oversees the School Director and faculty. He has taught at numerous companies, schools and summer programs across the world.