"Private Dancer"


Leap Date:

October 6, 1979

Episode Adopted by: gelfling1220
Additional info provided by: Javier Lopez & Brian Greene


As a Chippendale dancer named Rod "The Bod", Sam must suffer though the women throwing themselves at him while making sure a hearing-impaired woman realizes her dream of becoming a dancer instead of becoming a prostitute and dying of AIDS.


Audio from this episode
Video from this episode (The dance)*
Song "Daybreak"


TV Guide Synopsis
Leap Date

Name of the Person Leaped Into

Music Artists
Sam Trivia
Al Trivia

Al's Women
Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode

Miscellaneous Trivia

Broadcast Date
Guest Stars
Guest Cast Notes
Personal Review
Best Scenes
Say what?
Quotable Quotes



Production # 66416

TV Guide Synopsis (TVGuide.com)
Sam leaps into the role of a male exotic dancer who must help a hearing-impaired dancer (Rhondee Beriault) avoid falling out of step and into a tragic life---and death. Joanne: Debbie Allen. Mario: Louis Mustillo. Valerie: Heidi Swedberg. Martin: Henry Woronicz. Sam: Scott Bakula.

TV Guide Synopsis (Original):
Sam (Scott Bakula) is thrust into the role of a male exotic dancer who must help a deaf dancer (Rhondee Beriault) avoid falling out of step and into a tragic life – and death.

Broadcast Date: 
March 20, 1991 (Wednesday)

Leap Date
October 6, 1979

New York City, New York

Rod McCarty, a.k.a. Rod the Bod

Scene where Sam leaps into Chippendale:
"Ladies Night" by Kool and The Gang

Second scene where Sam is Chippendale:
"For The Love Of Money" by the O'Jays

Scene where Sam dances with the chreographer in the nightclub:
"Getaway" by Earth, Wind and Fire

Scene where Sam sees Diana dance by herself in the nightclub:
"Another Star" by Stevie Wonder.

Scene at the end where Diana dances for Joanne:
"Daybreak" by Cheryl Lyn

Sam Trivia:
Sam has never met a deaf person before.

Al Trivia:

Al names Valerie “Irma La Douce.” The film "Irma La Douce" in 1963 features a prostitute.

Al took fencing classes.

Al's Women:
Al's lab parter at M.I.T. was deaf, and she refused to sleep with him. 
("Boy, could she read lips!")

Al's Outfits Worn in the Episode:
1. White shirt, black and purple tie and paisley burgundy vest. 

2. Silver jacket, white shirt with floral pattern, blue tie with the sunglasses pin and blue pants. 

3.Shiny gray suit coat and matching pants, orange dress shirt, bolo tie.

4. Multi-pattern brown and teal shirt, skinny silver tie, black shimmery vest, and white pants with black speckles throughout.


Miscellaneous Trivia:
Words in American Sign Language shown (not as part of one of Diana’s speeches):

Thank You
You’re Welcome
Good Night
Quantum Leap (literally "Magical Traveler")
Don’t know
Spending the night (literally "sleep together")

The episode title refers to the Tina Turner song "Private Dancer."

When Dianna starts signing to Sam (to prove to him how it feels not to understand), she is saying “you’re bothering me, leave me alone. Ever since Iwas seven years old, I can do it myself”.

Guest Stars:
Rhondee Beriault as Diana Quinna
Debbie Allen as Joanne Chapman
Louis Mustillo as Mario
Heidi Swedberg as Valerie Jackson
Robert Schuch as Otto
Henry Worgnicz as Martin 
Marguerite Pomerhn-Derricks as Gina 
Melinda Cordell as Winnie 
Charles Emmett as Officer Arden
Frank Novak as Lou
Harry Cohn as Louie
Christopher Solari as Rod "Rod the Bod" McCarty (Mirror image)

Guest Cast Notes:
Rhondee Beriault, who plays Diana, is really deaf.

Debbie Allen is a famous choreographer known especially for the movie "Fame." She also directed "Revenge of the Evil Leaper."

Marguerite Pomerhn-Derricks is an accomplished ballerina and multiple award-winning choreographer.



Co-Executive Producer:
Deborah Pratt
Michael Zinzburg


Supervising Producer:
Harker Wade


Paul Brown
Jeff Gourson


Executive Producer:
Chris Ruppenthal


Paul Brown


Debbie Allen

Music Artists:
Theme: Mike Post
Score: Welton Ray Bunch

Reviewer Synopsis:
Sam leaps into "Rod the Bod", star Chippendale and featured attraction at a Mario’s Hideaway, a strip club in New York City. There he meets Diana, a young deaf woman who is working as a waitress at the club and living in a van, hoping eventually land a job dancing professionally. Mario, the club owner has other plans, hoping to turn Diana into one of his bachelor party "dancers", which Al reports would lead her into a life of prostitution, arrests and eventual death by AIDS.

At the club is Joanna Chapman, choreographer of a major jazz dance company. Having wowed her with his own dance moves, Joanna informs him of an open audition she is holding. After hours, Sam finds Diana practicing a dance routine and offers to walk her home. Despite her protests that she does not want him around, Sam persists and on the walk home the two grow very close.

Sam works out a deal with Mario, offering to do another performance for the club if Mario keeps Diana from dancing at bachelor parties. Mario agrees but Diana is not happy – she has no money and she thinks that Sam is being patronizing. Sam confronts her and convinces her to give Joanna’s audition a try.

Diana does well at the audition – until instructions are given that she can’t see. Upon learning that Diana is deaf, Joanne turns her down. Diana is shattered and things are made worse by the fact that her home has been towed away. With no one else to turn to, Diana returns to the club and talks to Valerie, Mario’s assistant. Valerie sets Diana up as an escort. Sam learns of this and seeks her out at the hotel that the "date" has taken her. Risking being dragged away by security, Sam bursts into the room demanding to talk to Diana and asks her not to sell herself. Diana makes the right choice and Sam talks Joanne into giving Diana a second chance. This time, Diana makes the cut and Sam leaps out as she thanks him.


There are several reasons why this is one of my favorite episodes. For one, there is the accurate portrayal of a deaf character. Quantum Leap excels in its portrayals of people with handicaps and in this respect the episode is very educational, from the information Diana conveys about being deaf to the simple words and phrases she signs as she talks to Sam. The audience learns as Sam does and the information is nicely integrated into the plot.

This episode is also notable for showcasing the dancing talents of Scott Bakula, in two of the episode’s major scenes. They must have been quite interesting to film, since it is rumored that Bakula was on massive painkillers for the episode, having injured his foot in filming "Runaway". Like the episode itself, the dances vary, being both fun and dramatic, such as Sam and Joanne’s lively boogie in the middle of the club, to Diana’s beautiful final dance.

In the end, this is a great episode, ideal for anyone who wants to see strong human drama, great choreography, or just happens to like the idea of Sam being a Chippendale.


Best Scenes
Sam’s reaction to his leap-in

Sam and Joanne dancing at the club

Diana explaining to Sam what she can hear

Sam and Diana’s dance

Sam and Al showing how to sign "Quantum Leap"

Say What?
The mirror image near the beginning of the episode doesn't have the lipstick marking that Sam has.

Sam's sign language guide, a very thin manual, has the word "Quantum" in it.

When Sam knock on the door, Dianna somehow knows to open it. 

Vehicles from the 1980's can be seen on the street, such as the police car and the tow truck. Although this being 1979, it's not as noticable as it would be if the year was supposed to be pre-70's.


Quotable Quotes:
Al: Sometimes I hate being right

Al: I thought you ran out of Kleenex or something… 

Sam: I sell an illusion… It isn’t me! 

Diana to Sam (translated from ASL): Stop bothering me! For seven years I’ve been able to manage by myself. I want to do it by myself! 

Al: Why does your Swiss Cheese memory remember things I wanna forget?

Sam: Twenty-four hours? What am I supposed to do in the meantime?
Al: Shake your booty!

I'd give anything to be degraded like that!
-- Al, "Private Dancer"

He's so CUTE!  Take my phone number honey.
-- Joanne, "Private Dancer"

She was my lab partner at MIT.  She was one of the brightest women I've ever known.
And she wouldn't sleep with you.
No, why does your swiss cheese memory always remember what I want to forget?
-- Al and Sam, "Private Dancer"

That pratfall looked real!
It felt real.
-- Joanne and Sam, "Private Dancer"

Please, just tell me that it isn't the 70's again!
-- Sam, "Private Dancer"

I know music in a way you will never know. When I look around, I see music everywhere. There's the music in the stars. The way they sparkle, I feel them.  There's music in the lights as they dance in the water at night.  And how the leaves shake each other, laughing like children at play.  When I feel the wind on my face, the wind is my music.
-- Diana, "Private Dancer"

I'm crazy?  You're the one living in a tow-away zone.
-- Sam, "Private Dancer"

You strip.
There's a difference.
I don't see it.
Neither do I, but...
-- Diana and Sam, "Private Dancer"

OK Ladies, let's hear it for that star of the Chippendales - Rod the Bod!
-- Mario, as Sam leaps in, "Private Dancer"

Shake your booty!
-- Al, "Private Dancer"

Don't bother.  I've been on my own since I was 7.  I can do it myself.  I want to do it on my own.
-- Diana, signed to Sam, "Private Dancer"

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