During a career spanning 25 years Ian Mills has established himself as an inspiring choreographer and creative director.
“I am passionate about helping brands to engage with their audiences in a compelling and memorable way. Always committed to outstanding creativity and innovation that will strengthen brand equity.”
From Cape Town, London to Mumbai and Tokyo, Ian has extensive experience of working globally and understanding cultural nuances from a brand perspective.
His work with top advertising agencies including Lowe, Godman, Abbot Mead Vickers, WRCS and Ogilvy and Mathers as a choreographer/ movement director and performance mentor has produced award winning commercials including ‘Muller Life’, Vauxhall Astrabatics’ and ‘Cook Along’ with Gordon Ramsey, Walkers Crisps, John Lewis and The X Factor.
Fashion and Live Events
Ian has choreographed groundbreaking dance works for Nike, Jean Paul Gautier, Moschino, The Clothes Show Live, Levis, F&F, George, House of Fraser, Harrods, Ben Sherman, Dunlop, Galaxy Radio, Next, Carrefour, Fashion for the Brave, Breast Cancer Cares, Matalan, Jet, Citroen, Peugeot and many others.
Fashion Show Production
Over the last five year’s, Ian has worked as the Fashion Show Producer for Shopdirect (the UK’s largest online retailer) producing their live shows by creating new and exciting ways to integrate dance and fashion in a compelling way. He worked with leading brands including Ralph Lauren, John Smedley and Adidas ensuring the show production was promoting the brand promise and experience of the individual brands.
Ian‘s positive energy and likeability made him a natural to present and perform on TV. He has featured as a mentor and guest star on BBC 3’s ’Missing Top Model’, ‘Naked’ and ‘Jerry Hall’s Kept’ on VH1, also the BBC Comedy’s ‘Moving On’ with Bob Mortimer. Ian has mentored many new artists for their debut performances on British TV’s The X Factor (last 12 finalists), Top Of The Pops and C.D.U.K.
Giving back to the community is central to Ian’s approach to life. Whenever he can, he teaches master classes to inspire young people by using dance as a tool to empower themselves and move forward with confidence. Over the last four years he has been giving his time freely by regularly teaching young dancers from disadvantaged communities at one of Johannnesburg’s leading dance charity’s, Moving Into Dance.
Ian is passionate about creating new, contemporary dance pieces and developing young dancers. Ian has had a residency at Johannesburg-based charitable dance company ‘Moving Into Dance’ where he inspires new dancers and young choreographers, by teaching technique and confidence.
In the UK, he collaborates every year with the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, giving young dancers the opportunity to perform in their first professional show held every year at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.
In the pop world Ian has worked with Annie Lennox on “No More I Love You’s” and the Medusa album’s European Tour, Boyzone on their British arena tour and he was creatively involved in the hugely successful ‘Cha Cha Slide’, N’Trance’s dance floor classic ‘Set Me Free’, Bill Nighy’s ‘Christmas Is All Around’ from the film ‘Love Actually’ directed by Richard Curtis and the award winning ‘Burn Baby Burn’ by ASH.
In the theatre Ian directed the ‘Pokemon live’ European Tour, “The Little Mermaid” at the People’s Theatre in Johannesburg and David Badella live at the leicester Square Theatre, London.
Ian was the Casting Director for Kylie Minogue’s legendary ‘Can’t get you out of my head’ music video and continues to cast for the most commercials that he choreographs.
Due to his dynamic and engaging style and expertise on all things theatre, music and dance, Ian is hosting a lifestyle segment on one of Johannesburg’s leading radio stations, Mix FM. Called #millsiesabout Ian discusses what’s hot in theatre and events ‘live’ every Saturday on #mixfm93.8
Ian started his training with the National Youth Theater in Britain.
Studying Shakespeare with Michael Croft and Performing in ‘Zigger Zagger’ and ‘Nightshriek’ with Daniel Craig he went on to star in the West End musical ‘Starlight Express’ where he worked closely with Arleen Phillips, Trevor Nunn and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Other key performances include the ‘The Royal Variety Performance’, ’The David Letterman Show’ and the movie ‘Judge Dredd’ with Sylvester Stalone.
Ian’s first love is Contemporary Dance, which he studied from the age of 13 focusing on Graham and Cunningham techniques.