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 and professionals. 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.
So Bruno, what prompted you to want to start dancing?
It was a training class. I was 20 years old, living in the Midwest. Everything was factory jobs and I saw an ad for a training class. I was drawn to the later hours and that I could start later in the day. So, I answered the ad for the training class and I thought this would be fun to do, you can dress up and stay out late. And then of course I started having a passion for the teaching and for the dancing. But that’s how it started, with a training class ad.
What inspiration has dancing brought to your life?
I went from being pretty much a self-centered person to a sharing person. Everything I learned, to remember it I had to pass it along. When I was getting coaching 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 taught me how to give and to share.
What sets FADS apart from other dance studios?
It’s not just the social part. We take a student through to the highest levels of dancing. No matter what their skills level is. Even if they didn’t come here for that specifically, we get them to do it. If only for the simple fact that when they’re working on something harder they remember the skills of the simpler things. The quality of our teachers and their ability to teach to that highest level certainly sets us apart. I think our systems set us apart. I think, we’re not alone either, you could literally pick up the phone and call another studio and they’d be glad to help you out. It’s a family.
What is your favorite dance?
I would have to say 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 little naughtier. I also placed highest in the Mambo, so Mambo is probably my favorite.
What was the pivotal moment in your career that you knew this was it?
I think when I met my wife and my partner Luann. We were married for 25 years and we have 3 children. We danced together and I was from training class and she was from the Joffrey Ballet, she was a big ballerina person. She brought me along and I started seeing success at that point and realized this is it. It was when I met my partner.
What is your 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’ll see eventually somewhere and 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.
Bruno has been Board of Directors and Vice President of American Ballroom Company since 2005.
Bruno Collins is a 7-time U.S. Theatrical Champion, 2-time World Cabaret Champion, 3- time Blackpool Cabaret Champion, U.S. American Rhythm Finalist and 5-time Fred Astaire Rhythm Champion. He 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 Championship Ballroom Dance.