Toni Francis began her folk dance instruction in elementary school in Dayton, Ohio. Shortly after graduating from high school, she went to Israel and for two years studied the Hebrew language and the evolving Israeli culture at a Kibbutz, Beerot Yitzchak Farm. On the way back to the United States, she traveled through Europe.
Toni lived for two years in Greenwich Village where she studied Greek, Hebrew, and Russian. She was a member of Elan International Folk Theatre, which was directed by Martin Koenig.
In 1968, Toni returned to Dayton and married. She has four children.
Toni has taught international folk dancing in Yellow Springs, Ohio; at the Center City School in Dayton; at the University of Dayton; at the Miami Valley Folk Dancers in Dayton; and at the Jewish Federation in Dayton. She has directed the Jewish Community Folk Dance Theatre as a part of the "World A'Fair" and has been a member of the Živio Yugoslav Dancers.
Dances Toni has taught include At the Inn, Fjaskern (Hurry-Scurry), Gerakina, Hora Or, Katia, Shibbolet Basadeh, Tin Tin Tini Mini Hanim, and Troika.