is a former Ballroom
dancer who specialized in the American Style
as well as the Theater Arts. Bruno is a 13-time U.S. Theatrical Champion, 5-time World Theatrical Champion, and a 3-time Blackpool Exhibition
For thirty-one years, Bruno Collins
has touched every aspect of the dance business with his vision and innovation. He has been a driving force in the adaptation of dance curriculums, teaching methods, and business plans that have allowed this industry to stay current amidst the demands of a rapidly changing market. The incredible artistry of his choreography
has shaped the careers of numerous world-class Amateurs
. He has choreographed show numbers and showcases for top Professionals
across the country. Bruno's unique talents as a trainer, motivator, coach, and choreographer
have made him one of the most sought after individuals in the dance business to date.
A training class prompted Bruno Collins to begin dancing. He was 20 years old, living in the Midwest and everything was centered on factory jobs. He saw an ad for a training class and was drawn to the fact that he could start working later in the day. He answered the ad for the training class and thought that it would be fun to do, as you could dress up and stay out late. Then of course, Bruno started having a passion for the teaching and for the dancing.
"I went from being a pretty self-centered person to a sharing person. Everything I learned, to remember it, I had to pass it along. When I was getting coached as I was dancing professionally, I would turn around and pass it down to a student. It would help me to remember it. In turn, it kind of made me feel like I shared with people. To this day, if I leave a lesson without feeling like I have left something, then I don’t feel like I’ve gained anything. Dancing has taught me how to give and to share."
Life on the Dance Floor
When Bruno met his wife and partner LuAnn Pulliam
, he knew that it was the pivotal moment in his dancing career. He was from a training class and she was from the Joffrey Ballet of New York. They have been married for over 25 years and have three children.
Together, Bruno Collins and LuAnn are 13-time U.S. Theatrical Champions, 5-time World Theatrical Champions, 3-time Blackpool Exhibition Champions, U.S. American Rhythm Finalists and 5-time Fred Astaire American Rhythm Champions.
Bruno has performed around the world in top competitions and shows, as both a guest star performer and champion. In addition, he has been featured on PBS's Championship Ballroom Dancing, which took place at the Ohio Star Ball. The show was then changed to America's Ballroom Challenge.
Bruno says that his favorite dance is the Mambo.
"I think there’s a certain freedom to it. There’s a personality to each dance and Mambo
, I think has more of my personality. It’s a little looser, a little naughtier. I also placed highest in the Mambo
during competition, so Mambo
is probably my favorite."
International Championships 2000
At the International Championships
of 2000, an event known as the Duel of the Giants was held. Harry Zwahlen
and Romy Biedermann
of Switzerland went up against Bruno Collins and LuAnn Pulliam
of the U.S.A.
Harry and Romy danced first and presented a very sexy man-encounters-woman number in a style of a night club or an Argentinian Tango bar.
Then, Bruno and LuAnn came onto the floor and presented an American style exhibition work with lots of lifts and air work. It was very easy flowing and balletic.
For their second number, Harry and Romy came onto the floor both dressed as men and were dancing tango with plastic dummies dressed as their ladies. The "girls" turned out to be extremely flexible dancers performing amazing bends, flips, stretches and other unbelievable moves.
Bruno and LuAnn then took the floor again and danced a blues number, again with some very difficult lifts. During the dance, LuAnn's dress amazingly changed three times into different styles. It will remain a mystery how they did it. Bruno did not stay behind and also took his trousers off presenting his boxer shorts made of an American flag, which made the audience ecstatic.
Both teams received big ovations, but at the end, the American flag shorts had an edge and Bruno and LuAnn were declared winners of the match.
Life After Dance
Bruno was the longest running dance director at the Fred Astaire
Franchised Dance Studios. For 13 years, he directed all of the studios in the United States. He is also the Co-Owner of one of the top Fred Astaire
Studios in the country.
Bruno has been on the Board of Directors of the American Ballroom Company for over 15 years. He has also been the vice-president since 2005. The American Ballroom Company (ABC) organizes the annual United States Dance Championships (USDC).
Favorite Part of the Job
"The coaching is probably my favorite, and the choreography
, the creating. You get to create something for somebody that’s personal. You go 'Ah, I did that and it looked pretty good'. It usually doesn’t turn out anything like what you thought it would. That person puts their own personality on it. Seeing the teacher adapt to it and teach it to their student, that’s probably my favorite part."