Private Dancer was the 14th episode in Season 3 of Quanutm Leap, also the 45th overall series episode. Written by Debbie Allen, the episode, which was directed by Paul Brown, originally aired on NBC-TV on March 20, 1991.
Sam leaps into Rod McCarty (a.k.a. "Rod the Bod"), a Chippendales dancer who must help a deaf woman find success as a professional dancer, before she goes down a road of prostitution and dies of AIDS several years later.
October 6, 1979: Sam leaps into the body of Rod "The Bod" McCarty (leapee played by Chris Solari) a male dancer and the featured attraction at a strip club called Mario's Hideaway in New York City. According to Al, he's there to prevent a waitress and aspiring ballet dancer, Diana Quinna (Rhondee Beriault), from turning to prostitution to make ends meet. Diana is quite innocent in many ways. She would love to be a professional dancer but is deaf, and lacks the self esteem to make it on her own. Mario (Louis Mustillo), the club owner has other plans for Diana, hoping to turn Diana into one of his bachelor party "dancers", which Al reports, through Ziggy, would lead her into a life of prostitution, drug arrests and eventual death by AIDS by 1986.
At the club is Joanna Chapman (played by Debbie Allen, who also directs the episode), 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 a Valerie Nevsky (Heidi Swedberg), who's Mario's assistant at the nightclub.
Valerie, who runs an escorting business on the side, sets Diana up on an arranged "date" as an escort. Sam learns of this, he's furious, and then seeks her out at the hotel that the "date" with a prospective John has taken her. Risking being dragged away by security, Sam bursts into the room demanding to talk to Diana, who also escorts, and has had a past history of prostitution arrests herself, and asks her not to take the job. 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.
- Song list
- Ladies Night - (performed b Kool & The Gang)
- For The Love Of Money - (performed by The O'Jays)
- Getaway - (performed by Earth, Wind & Fire)
- Another Star - (performed by Stevie Wonder)
- Daybreak (Storybook Children) (performed by Cheryl Lynn)