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Toni Basil

Director

Choreographer

Master Educator

SPEAKER

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Bio

Toni Basil is a multi-award-winning choreographer, dancer ,director, producer, recording artist and street dance historian.

 

Best known for her hit single and dancing video Hey Mickey, Toni received a Gold Album for 1981’s Word of Mouth and double platinum records for her International smash single Mickey in the UK, Canada Mexico and Australia. She received a Grammy nomination for her Word of Mouth long-form video album, which she produced, choreographed and directed. Mickey was Billboard magazine’s #1 song for the month of December 1982 and her video was installed into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as one of the groundbreaking video and singles of the 1980s. The Mickey music video has been exhibited at 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. She starred, co-directed and choreographed two self-titled BBC television specials, which were re-aired in record time due to unprecedented audience response and are credited as launching Mickey as a hit single in the U.K. charts and ultimately, worldwide.

 

Behind the scenes she has choreography and directorial credits on over 50 videos TV shows , commercials (2 award-winning Gap commercials), three Sesame Street videos and has choreographed and/or co-directed concerts and shows for Tina Turner, David Bowie, Bette Midler, David Lee Roth, Mick Jagger, Linda Ronstadt Lilly Tomlin, Enrique Iglesias as well as many others.

 

Toni is one of the founding members of the Street dance group The Lockers considered “the group that changed the face of dance”  establishing street dance as a true American art form. The group broke boundaries on television toured and opened for Frank Sinatra Carnegie Hall.

 

In 2008 Toni received Hip Hop International’s highest award Living Legend of Hip Hop. Former recipients include MC Hammer, DJ Kool Herc , Grandmaster Caz, Don “Campbellock” Campbell and Boogaloo Sam.

 

She has worked on an incredible range of television programming, from TV Lands Salute to Soul Train, NAACP Image Awards, Saturday Night Live, Sesame Street and numerous Music Awards shows. Well as being a Guest Judge on So You Think You Can Dance 2008 & 2009

 

Toni’s most notable feature film credits include choreography for such classics as American Graffiti and Legally Blonde. Her subtle choreographic hand was visible throughout Tom Hanks directorial debut, That Thing You Do.

 

In the 60s toni filmed short art films, Game of the Week, A Dance Film, Our Trip and The Ping Pong Match. Pre-dating music videos, these avant-garde pieces have now found a new audience and were exhibited at the Santa Monica Museum of Art and New York’s Grey Art Gallery.  The L.A. Times Art Reviewer Christopher Knight noted that” filmmaker Toni Basil’s deft editing transformed an ordinary ping pong match between Billy Gray and Dean Stockwell into an energetic dance routine.”

 

Her acting credits include a wide variety of television shows and numerous films including Golden Globe an Academy award winning American classic films Easy Rider and Five Easy Pieces.

 

In 2018, Quentin Tarantino crowned her as the “Goddess of Go-Go” as she choreographed his Oscar winning film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He also stated that the musical number in which she is partnered on-screen with Davy Jones during Daddy’s Song for The Monkees film, Head, ranks in his top five favorite musical American musical movie numbers of all time.

 

Social Media has not left Toni Basil behind with a multitude of her dance videos going viral and in the television news media as featured on Inside Edition and CNN exhibiting her unique form of artistic mastery of fusion of her dance styles.

 

Toni is a classically trained ballet dancer with a multitude of street dance styles. She adds to her list of expertise in world dance and partnering Afro/Cuban, Tango, Flamenco, Salsa, East coast, and West coast swing.

 

She remains contemporary in the dance world as she teaches and judges internationally within the street dance community for which she is revered as a visionary and the matriarch of that community .

Continuing in the family tradition (her father, an orchestra leader and mother, a vaudevillian) she has excelled in every entertainment medium – stage, music, commercials, television, film, and video.

 

She’s been at the cutting edge of pop culture for the last six decades with one of the most unique and eclectic careers in show business. Her unique form of artistic mastery is at the heart of all of her work. She remains a true pioneer in the dance world, a visionary and a genuine American treasure.

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Film
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Choreographer
Dir. Quentin Tarantino
Charlie Wilson's War
Choreographer
Tom Hanks / Dir. Mike Nichols
Legally Blonde
Choreographer
Reese Witherspoon / MGM
Legally Blonde 2: Red, White, and Blonde
Choreographer
Dir. Charles Herman / MGM
Ed Wood
Choreographer
Tim Burton Productions
American Graffiti
Choreographer
Dir. George Lucas
The Rose
Choreographer
Starring Bette Midler
My Best Friend's Wedding
Choreographer
Starring Julia Roberts
That Thing You Do
Choreographer
Dir. Tom Hanks / FOX
Muppets From Space
Choreographer
Jim Henson Pictures
The House Bunny
Choreographer
Dir. Fred Wolf
Sunset Strip
Choreographer
Dir. Adam Collis / FOX
Something To Talk About
Choreographer
Julia Roberts / Warner Bros.
Peggy Sue Got Married
Choreographer
Dir. Francis Ford Coppola
Mobsters
Choreographer
Universal Studios
Delirious
Choreographer
Starring John Candy
Divine Madness
Choreographer
Starring Bette Midler
Head
Choreographer
The Monkees
Television
Ru Paul's Drag U
Choreographer
LOGO / World of Wonder
So You Think You Can Dance
Guest Judge
FOX / 19 Entertainment
Cold Case
Choreographer
Warner Bros.
Bette Series
Choreographer
CBS
Murphy Brown
Choreographer
CBS
Bette Midler Concert "Diva Las Vegas"
Choreographer
HBO
Sesame Street
Director/Choreographer/Co-Prod.
4 Segments
Saturday Night Live
Segment Choreographer/Co-Director
Toni Basil, Tape 1 & 2
Writer/Co-Director/Choreographer
BBC Variety Special
David Bowie Concert "Glass Spider" Tour
Co-Director/Choreographer
ABC
Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
Dance Segments Director
4 Shows
Live Performance
David Lee Roth Live
Choreographer
Beverly Hilton Hotel
Tina Turner Live 2008/2009 Tour
Associate Dir./Choreographer
Tina Turner "What's Love Got To Do With It" Tour
Choreographer
Bette Midler "Divine Intervention"
Co-Director/Choreographer
Bette Midler "The Showgirl Must Go On"
Choreographer
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas
Bette Midler / Grand Opening of Harrah's Casino
Choreographer
Harrah's Casino / Hammond, Indiana
Bette Midler "Kiss My Brass" Tour
Choreographer
Bette Midler "Miss Millennium" Tour
Dance Dir./Choreographer
Bette Midler "Experience the Divine" Tour
Dance Dir./Choreographer
Bette Midler "Experience the Divine" '93-'94 Tour
Dance Dir./Choreographer
Bette Midler "Detour"
Co-Director/Choreographer
Bette Midler "Tour For New Depression"
Co-Director/Choreographer
Valora at the Troubadour 2010
Choreographer
Lee Ann Womack 2002 Tour
Director/Choreographer
Erv Woolsey Company
Enrique Iglesias "Escape" Tour
Director/Choreographer
Matchbox 20 1998 World Tour
Choreographer
Menudo "Reencuentro" Tour
Choreographer
Mi Bondo Toca
David Lee Roth 1995 Road Show Tour
Choreographer
The Manhattan Transfer 1995 Multi-Media Interactive Concept Show
Choreographer
Shockin' The House at LA Festival
Director/Choreographer
Frankie Valli Las Vegas Show
Choreographer
Bolshoi Circus Japanese Tour 1993
Director/Choreographer
David Bowie "Glass Spider" Tour
Co-Director/Choreographer
David Bowie "Diamond Dogs" Tour
Co-Director/Choreographer
Toni Basil at The Kitchen "A Decade in Street Dance"
Director/Choreographer
Toni Basil at The Roxy
(Dir./Chor./Prod.)
Toni Basil at The Fox Venice
(Dir./Chor./Prod.)
The Lockers at Radio City Music Hall
Director/Choreographer
Manhattan Transfer 1991 Tour
Director/Choreographer
Pee-Wee Herman at J.C. Penny Fashion Show
Co-Director/Choreographer
J.C. Penny Fashion Show
Music Videos
Toni Basil "Word of Mouth"
Director/Producer
Toni Basil "Shopping A to Z"
Director/Producer/Choreographer
Toni Basil "Mickey"
Director/Producer/Choreographer
Toni Basil "Over My Head"
Director/Producer/Choreographer
Linda Rondstadt "You Took Advantage of Me"
Director/Choreographer
Fishbone "When Problems Arise"
Co-Director/Choreographer
David Byrne "Girls On My Mind"
Co-Director/Choreographer
Talking Heads "Once In A Lifetime"
Co-Director
Talking Heads "Cross-Eyed and Painless"
Director/Producer/Choreographer
Matchbox 20 "Push"
Choreographer
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy "You, Me & The Bottle"
Choreographer
Vanessa Carlton "Pretty Baby"
Choreographer
Palomar Pictures
Stella Soleil "Kiss, Kiss"
Choreographer
A Few Miles North
Mick Jagger "God Gave Me Everything"
Coach
CSS "Hangover"
Co-Director
Dir. Matt Dilmore / Epoch Films
Award Shows
Billboard Awards w/ Bette Midler
Choreographer
FOX
TV Land Awards "Tribute to Soul Train"
Choreographer
Chloe Productions
2005 MTV Video Music Awards w/ Kelly Clarkson
Choreographer
MTV
1999 MTV Movie Awards w/ Robbie Williams
Choreographer
MTV
1994 Annual Emmy Awards w/ Bette Midler
Choreographer
ABC
The 26th Annual NAACP Image Awards
Choreographer
NBC
Commercials/ Digital
Nabisco Pita Chips w/ George Hamilton
Choreographer
Dir. David Kellogg / Anonymous Content
NFL Films Promo
Choreographer
Dir. Bryan Barber / FM Rocks
Seppala
Choreographer
Bad Company Films
Toon Disney Promo
Choreographer
Toon Disney Channel / Atlas Pictures
Carl's Jr
Choreographer
Ofrenda
The Gap "Khaki Kids"
Choreographer
Dayton Faris Productions
The Gap "Khaki Groove"
Choreographer
Directors Bureau / Primitive Productions
Miller Lite
Choreographer
Dir. Jerry Casale / Primitive Productions
Toyota
Choreographer
Backyard Productions
Southwest Airline
Choreographer
Stiefel & Company

Press

"Basil is best known for her infectious 1982 hit, but she has had an even bigger career as a choreographer, including work on movies such as "My Best Friend's Wedding" and "Legally Blonde."

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