Dame Arlene Phillips is internationally renowned as a choreographer and director of West End and Broadway musicals, but has many other professional credits.
In her mid-teens, Phillips moved to London where she has lived ever since. Strongly influenced by American Modern Jazz dance which was becoming popular in London at that time, she began developing her own style of jazz dance and began teaching her style in a number of prominent London dance studios, first at The Dance Centre and later at Pineapple Dance Studios in Covent Garden, and the Italia Conti Stage School. She quickly established herself as a successful teacher and choreographer.
Phillips choreographed the 1982 film, Annie, and the Duran Duran song The Wild Boys, named Best British Video at the 1985 BRIT Awards.
Internationally, Phillips is most noted as a jazz and musical theatre choreographer, having worked on some of the biggest-selling musicals in West End and Broadway theatre, and a number of successful films. She is an Olivier Award nominee.
Phillips choreographed the 2002 Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies alongside fellow Mancunian, David Zolkwer.
From 2004 to 2009, she was a judge on the BBC One show Strictly Come Dancing, and commented on the acts in Eurovision: Your Country Needs You for the BBC in 2009. In 2008, she created, produced, and choreographed the ITV television serial Britannia High. She was also the creative mind behind hit BBC shows DanceX and Strictly Dance Fever.
Following Phillips’s appearance on Your Country Needs You, she choreographed the performance of the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2009. She went on to choreograph Engelbert Humperdinck’s performance of the UK entry in the 2012 contest in Baku.
In March 2013, Arlene appeared on Let’s Dance for Comic Relief in the Dance Judge Panel with Greg James and Lee Mack.