Using the stage name "Dazzler", Alison sets out to make a name for herself in the music industry, using her light powers and dancing ability to enhance her performances. It is at one of her shows that Alison first meets the X-Men while they are attacked by the forces of the Hellfire Club. Angry at the interruption of her show, Alison lashes out in anger at the Hellfire intruders, unintentionally making one member catatonic. Alison subsequently aids the X-Men in finding Kitty Pryde. She had always assumed that life as a disco queen would be exciting but finds the fight with the X-Men's enemies going a bit too far. Thus she turns down their offer to join the team. Months later, Dazzler moved to Los Angeles in a vain attempt to help her half-sister Lois London that has the mutant ability to kill anyone with a touch, but has little to no control over the ability.
While in Los Angeles, Alison attempts careers in fitness training, dancing, modeling, and acting. Influenced both by her lover Roman Nekoboh, and her desire to abate the growing anti-mutant sentiment, Alison publicly declares her mutant identity. The revelation backfires, destroying her reputation and career and inflaming anti-mutant sentiment, which sends Alison into a depressive state. Forced again into hiding, she spends some time as a keyboard player and back-up vocalist in rock singer and fellow mutant Lila Cheney's band.
While on tour, the band's plane crashes, which leads to Dazzler, Lila, and a bandmate being successfully rescued by Cannonball and Joshua. Lila has been knocked out so Dazzler uses the music Joshua plays at the scene to blast a hole through the wreckage. Alison is later possessed by one of the psychic mutants called the Maruaders named Malice; after an encounter with the X-Men coming to warn her about the Marauders, Dazzler is freed from possession and becomes a member of the X-Men.