In his sixth year as Artistic Director of the Oklahoma City Ballet, Robert Mills is credited with bringing the company local acclaim and national attention. With a diverse programming of full length classics, world premiere full length ballets, 20th century masterworks and new commissions from some of the industry’s leading choreographers, Oklahoma City Ballet continues to break its own box office records. After last season’s milestone debut of the full length Swan Lake, the Oklahoman reported: “the progress and remarkable growth of the dancers and repertoire shows Oklahoma dance lovers that exciting things are happening in our capital city.”
Originally from Northwest Indiana near the heart of Chicagoland, Robert has considered Oklahoma home since 1993. He began formal training in gymnastics at the age of seven and soon after shifted his focus to dance. He studied in Chicago, concentrating on ballet with renowned pedagogue and author Anna Paskevska, with former soloists of London’s Royal Ballet Richard Ellis and Christine DuBoulay, and at the Ruth Page Foundation with Larry Long. While in Chicago he also studied modern dance with some of the city’s best instructors. He received further training in ballet with full scholarships from the Milwaukee Ballet School, Richmond Ballet, The Rock School in Philadelphia and the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City.
Robert enjoyed a vast performing career touring internationally as a guest artist and with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, Eugene Ballet and Ballet Idaho. Critics across the country took note of his crisp technique and inherent acting ability. He has worked with some of ballet’s foremost artists including Basil Thompson, Christopher d’Amboise, Gloria Govrin, John Taras and Donald Mahler. His repertoire includes all the classical standards plus works by George Balanchine, Anthony Tudor, Agnes De Mille, Peter Anastos, Bryan Pitts, Margo Sappington, Ann Reinking, Lila York, William Whitener, Toni Pimble and many others. During his time with Kansas City Ballet he worked closely with Todd Bolender and the Balanchine Trust in the reconstruction of the lost George Balanchine ballet Renard.
Prior to joining OKC Ballet as Artistic Director, he spent three years as Artistic Director of Ballet Nouveau Colorado bringing that company into the national spotlight. A sought after teacher, he teaches on faculty at The Dance Center of Oklahoma City Ballet and has taught at the Kansas City Ballet School and Ballet Idaho Academy along with numerous summer programs across the country including the University of Oklahoma and Burklyn Ballet. An accomplished choreographer, he has created ballets for Oklahoma City Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Dance Theatre of Tennessee and Ballet Nouveau Colorado among others.