Full Name: Bruno Tonioli
Dance Style: Unknown
Italian spitfire Bruno Tonioli was destined to dance. He says, "I started dancing before I could talk. Other babies learn to stand and then walk — I just danced. At the age of three, I would leap on the table and dance if I heard music. It was something I had to do — as if my legs were moving for themselves." Bruno spent his childhood catching American musicals in the cinema and watching his parents cha-cha. Despite his passion, a career cuttin' a rug hasn't always come easy. Hailing from a working-class background, Bruno's parents pressured him to choose more "traditional" jobs, like banking (could you imagine?). Finally at the age of 18, Bruno left home to pursue dance. He relocated from Italy to London, England, as a member of the Paris-based dance company, La Grande Eugene. Bruno worked extensively as a freelance dancer, including an appearance in Elton John's “I'm Still Standing” video, before starting a career as a choreographer working with Pamela Stephenson on Not the Nine O'Clock News.
Bruno appears as a judge on the hit UK show Strictly Come Dancing, and its American adaptation, Dancing with the Stars. Tonioli has become widely known for his exuberant and outrageous comments and critiques after couples' performances on both shows. Additionally, he co-created and appeared on the BBC talent show DanceX, as well as its American adaptation, Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann. Tonioli's team won the viewer-voted competition, earning a contract with Hollywood Records. We're not sure if it sparked any rivalry with Carrie Ann, but now ten seasons in and things are still peachy between the two judges.
Tonioli has worked extensively in the music business, choreographing videos, stage shows, and tours for some serious music legends. Count Tina Turner, Sting, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Freddie Mercury, Boy George, Bananarama, and Duran Duran among his clientele.
Tonioli's motion picture credits include Ella Enchanted, The Gathering Storm, Little Voice, Dancin' thru the Dark, Enigma, The Parole Officer, and What a Girl Wants. His television film credits include Miss Marple: The Body in the Library, Blonde Bombshell, Scarlet Pimpernel, and The Bare Necessities. Theatre credits include La Vie Parisienne, Godspell, Steve Coogan's show The Man Who Thinks He's It, and "Forbidden Love" (BBC TV trilogy in 1985), the latter in which he played manservant to Oscar Wilde (Michael Gambon).
In 2009 and 2010, Tonioli was a judge on the UK tour of Strictly Come Dancing Live, appearing at over 45 shows on each tour.