- Grew up mainly in Washington, DC, and New York after moving several times as a child due to his father's military career.
- Made his Broadway debut at 16 as the Scarecrow in The Wiz.
- Won a Tony Award and an Astaire Award for his performance in the Broadway production of The Tap Dance Kid, although he had only taken up tap dancing three years prior.
- Created a hybrid of dance styles known as swop (swing and hip-hop) that was featured in the film Idlewild (2006), which Battle choreographed.
- Founded the Hinton Battle Theatre Laboratory, a nonprofit that brings theater performances to ethnically and economically diverse audiences.
- 1984, Tony — Actor (Featured Role--Musical): Winner
- 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
- 1991, Tony — Actor (Featured Role--Musical): Winner
- 1981, Tony — Actor (Featured Role--Musical): Winner
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