A little Throwback Thursday (tbt) to brighten up a stormy Thursday in Vancouver. This Toni Basil video takes me back to Grade 9 and my first high school dance. It still makes me want to dance. Every. Single. Time.
With a vaudevillian performer mother and an orchestra conductor father, it is likely that Toni was born performing. But she began her official dancing and choreography career in the early 1960s. She may be best known for Mickey, but she has worked consistently as a dancer, choreographer, singer, and actress (a quadruple threat) for 50+ years.
Before Mickey was even an twinkle in her eye, she had already:
- choreographed for movies, tv, videos, and concerts, including the Monkee's film Head, the movie American Graffiti, Talking Heads music video Once in a Lifetime, and David Bowie's Diamond Dogs Tour
- co-founded the legendary street dance group The Lockers in the 1970s (check out this Soul Train performance)
- choreographed an Emmy nominated Swan Lake mash-up dance for SNL.
While her singing career peaked with Mickey, she continues to direct and choreograph movies, concerts, and videos. She also performs, lectures, and judges street dance competitions internationally. Her wikipedia page reads like a who's who of the music and entertainment business. There aren't many that can say they worked with David Bowie, Better Midler, Devo, Tina Turner, Robert Downey Sr, etc.
Lately videos of Toni's hip hop routine have been doing the social media rounds. It is easy to see why Toni has had such a successful career - the lady can dance!
But most media stories includes lines like "...and she’s still got the moves at the age of 72".
Frankly, knowing her 50+ year career why is everyone surprised that she is still dancing? I think this quote from Toni sums it up for me.
“I’ve always been a dancer, and I will always be a dancer,” Basil told BuzzFeed. “Dance has been my lover, my doctor. I know I have my health because of this.”
And on that note I leave you with her recent performance in a Judges Showcase. And a warning, her Youtube channel is a rabbit hole that will make you want to dance all day.