In 1974, he was approached by friend Michael Bennett who invited him to the sessions which led to the basis of material for the book of a musical about Broadway "gypsies", the dancers who serve as a backdrop for the leading performers. Eventually, collaborating with James Kirkwood, Jr., the result was A Chorus Line, which earned him the 1976 Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for Best Book of a Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. In particular, the story of Paul, the homosexual Puerto Rican dancer whose early career consisted of working in a drag show, was based primarily on Dante. The actor who originated the role with the famous monologue, Sammy Williams, won a Best Featured Actor in a Musical award in 1976 for the role. Dante played the role himself later on.
He authored a screenplay, Fake Lady, and a stage musical based on the life of entertainer Al Jolson entitled Jolson Tonight, but never again achieved the success he did with A Chorus Line.