Toni Basil

Toni Basil is a dancer, singer, choreographer, and director that has enjoyed multiple successes in the Industry. She was a pioneer in the dance genre by merging styles of classical ballet and street dance and raised public awareness of street dance styles through her choreographies and videos. She was a member of The Lockers, the group that “changed the face of dance” by popularizing street styles in the 1970’s.

She has choreographed and directed over 50 videos, multiple concerts for major music artists, dance based art films, and her own music videos. Her choreography can also be seen in feature films Legally Blonde 1 & 2, American Graffiti, and My Best Friend’s Wedding. 

Basil has been presented with numerous awards and distinctions throughout her career. She has been nominated for multiple Emmys and Grammys including an Emmy nomination for her Swan Lake piece choreographed for Saturday Night Live in 1975 and restaged in 1989 for the Smother’s Brothers Special and a Grammy nomination for her Word of Mouth – long form video album. Her Swan Lake piece was credited by Dance Magazine as the first mix of street dance and classical dance with classical music. She received an Emmy award for a commercial she directed that featured MC Hammer. Toni Basil received a Gold Album for 1981’s Word Of Mouth and a double platinum record for her smash single Mickey, and holds the same from the UK, Canada and Australia. Billboard magazine’s #1 song for the month of December, 1982, Mickey was installed in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as one of the groundbreaking singles of the 1980s, The Mickey music video, resides in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and in 1992, Toni earned herself a place as an American Video Artist in the coveted Museum of Modern Art’s calendar. In 2008 Toni received Hip Hop International’s highest award “Living Legend of Hip Hop.”

Mickey! (Official)

Swan Lake (1989):


Further Reading:

Toni Basil Official Website:
The Lockers Official Website:
Toni Basil Youtube Channel:
Toni Basil Facebook: 

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Categorized as: ARTIST, Choreographer, Dancer