Richard & Laurie Collett are ballroom dance champions, choreographers, performers, and owners of the Rhapsody Ballroom in Tampa, FL.
They are undefeated U.S. Amateur National and Open to the World Theatrical Champions. Since turning professional, they have been Southeastern States Theatrical Champions and Theatrical DanceTriple Crown winners, and finalists at the Invitational World Professional Exhibition Championships; United States Dancesport Championships, and Ohio Star Ball (Evening of Championship Dancing).Their innovative choreography, showy and musical style, and dramatic portrayals of classical, popular and Broadway themes have included Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe, Miss Saigon, Fire and Ice, the Woman at the Well, Chicago, and Whatever Lola Wants. Their special passion is Christian music, often to lyrics written and sung by Laurie. Their goal is to dance for the audience of One, to His glory, and to move people and touch hearts with their dancing.
Richard and Laurie have given live solo performances in Japan, Ireland, Hong Kong, Netherlands, and Italy; at the Ryman Auditorium (Grand Ole' Opry), Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center (Straz), the St. Petersburg Coliseum, the Ringling Performing Arts Center in Sarasota, Ruth Eckerd Hall, and the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg. While dancing with the U.S. Professional American Style Team tour of Russia, they were televised throughout Russia and danced to live audiences of 5,000 in Moscow and 8,000 in St. Petersburg. They are absolutely thrilled to be performing with the Follies!
The Colletts were among 300 finalists chosen from 150,000 auditions to perform before the celebrity judges on America's Got Talent. TV appearances have included featured interviews and competition dancing on the Learning Channel documentary, "The Secret World of Ballroom Dancing," the documentary "Swing has Sprung," the PBS special "Evening of Championship Dancing," and news and talk shows. They were featured solo dancers with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra led by Erich Kunzel, and with the Sarasota Orchestra, and commentators and solo performers with Florida versions of Dancing with the Stars.
Richard and Laurie are available for shows, master classes, ballroom dance judging and commentary. Richard is a retired Navy Chief and Laurie is a retired MD neurologist who now writes for WebMD/Medscape. Both are active in their church, Richard as sound man and Gideon, and Laurie as a solo singer and ladies' Bible study teacher. They have been married for 26 years and are blessed with a wonderful son, Brendan.