the ballerina
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The Ballerina Full Episode – Bonanza, Season #06, Episode #18

Dancer Barrie Chase, renowned for her performances in Fred Astaire’s TV specials, makes a guest appearance in this Bonanza episode, written by her brother Frank Chase. Hoss Cartwright takes on the responsibility of rescuing the lively Kellie Conrad (played by Barrie) from her life of dancing in saloons under the watch of her father, Ned (portrayed by Douglas Fowley). With Hoss’s help, Kellie’s dream of becoming a prima ballerina comes true, with renowned ballet master Paul Mandel (played by Warren Stevens) as her mentor. Regarded as one of the less intense episodes of Bonanza, The Ballerina originally aired on January 24, 1965.

You can delve into the complexities of its plot and uncover fascinating trivia, or you can sit back and enjoy watching the full episode below.

Table of Contents

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Main Cast

The eighteenth episode of Bonanza’s sixth season, “The Ballerina,” showcases several familiar faces from the show’s recurring and supporting cast. Here’s the full lineup of actors featured in this episode:

  • Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright
  • Michael Landon as Joseph ‘Little Joe’ Cartwright (credit only)
  • Dan Blocker as Eric ‘Hoss’ Cartwright
  • Pernell Roberts as Adam Cartwright (credit only)
  • Barrie Chase as Kellie Conrad
  • Warren Stevens as Paul Mandel
  • Douglas Fowley as Ned Conrad
  • Hugh Sanders as Mine Owner
  • Read Morgan as Tad Blake
  • Bill Borzage as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Danny Borzage as Barfly (uncredited)
  • George Bruggeman as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Bill Clark as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Gene Coogan as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Bob LaWandt as Barfly (uncredited)
  • William Meader as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Bob Miles as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Paul Ravel as Barfly (uncredited)
  • John Rice as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Cosmo Sardo as Bartender (uncredited)
  • Jeffrey Sayre as Barfly (uncredited)
  • Chalky Williams as Barfly (uncredited)

Full Story Line for The Ballerina

A disabled ex-ballet dancer discovers love as he instructs classical dance to the daughter of a wandering violinist. Determined to assist her in auditioning for the San Francisco ballet, he encounters opposition from her father, who insists she continue performing with him.

Full Script and Dialogue of The Ballerina


Thank you, gentlemen.
I'll buy you drink.

BARTENDER: Coming through,
men, coming through, coming through.

Thank you.

- There you are, Hoss.
- Thank you kind.


It's agreed that you and your
company will furnish the men.

You'll have them at Ponderosa

by the time my little brother
gets back with the equipment.

They will be there.

For the wages you
Cartwrights are paying,

I might just grab a shovel
and go along myself.

- Well, sir, you'd be welcome.
- Ha, ha.


your eyes are about
to behold a vision.

A vision of angels'
fluttering wings.

I present to you,
Miss Kellie Conrad.









Hop to it before they wrap
their hands around their glasses

and forget who we are.

Come on, fellas. Come on.

Who are they, anyhow?

Old Ned Conrad and
his daughter, Kellie.

I can remember when they
first started working the saloons.

She couldn't have been much
more than around 10 years old.

KELLIE: Thank you.
Thank you mostly.

Thank you. Thank you.

Evening, mister,
enjoying yourself?

I always enjoy
myself, Kellie, my love.

I can afford to. Ah.

What do I get for it?

- Wasn't my dancing enough?
- No.

Time you and I get to
know each other a lot better.

Wait a minute.

Mr. Blake, I like a crowd when
I dance not when I kiss a man.

Now they don't bother me a bit.

- Little kiss won't ruin your reputation.
- Mister, you'll hurt the lady.

Now, beat it.

Sorry, miss, he ain't
gonna bother you no more.

Oh, you big clown!
Who asked you to butt in?

I thought I... I
mean, all I did was...

All you did was drive away
the best customer in here.

Look, mister, don't blame
Kellie for what happened.

- We don't even know him.
- Stay out of the way.

- Ah, look, son, try to be reasonable.
- I said stay out of the way.


- Pa, you all right?
- No, I'm not all right.

I think I broke my
wrist. Where's my fiddle?

- Here, let me help you.

The one thing we don't need
is any more help from you.

Now just get away from us.

Pa, I'll get you to a doctor.


- Broke?
- Cracked.

I won't be able to
scratch my ear with it

for at least six weeks.

How much money
we got in the kitty?

- Not enough to last six weeks.
- Great. Just great.

Well, what are you
standing around here for?

HOSS: Oh...

I just wish there's something
I can do to help out.

How about paying us for
all the trouble you caused?

Now, Kellie, it ain't his fault
it ended up the way it did.

Maybe not, but that
still don't help us any.

Hey, I got an idea.

How about the two of you come
on out to Ponderosa with me?

That's where I live and you
can hang around out there

- until you're able to work again.
- Forget it. We'll manage.

Not so fast, girl.

What would we have to do if
we take you up on that offer?

Not a thing in the
world. Just lay around,

eat three meals a day
until you get to feeling better.

Well, that's mighty
generous of you, boy.

Me and my daughter,

we're pleased to
accept your invite.

Now, just one little minute.

I ain't about to go
anywhere, especially with him.

And that's final.

Quite a place you got
here, Mr. Cartwright.

Yes, sir, quite a place.

It take you a long
time to build up?

Well, best part of
a lifetime, I guess.

It was worth it.

I can surely see
where it would be.

What you do around
here for excitement?

Well, play checkers and sometimes
even have a song fest or two.

I don't think that's
the kind of excitement

Miss Conrad was inquiring about.

It sure ain't.

I like the kind of excitement
people make when they laugh

and drink and gamble.

Um, Hoss tells me that,
uh, you dance beautifully.

She sure does, Pa. Doggone,
you'd have to see it to believe it.

I certainly would like
to, perhaps one evening.

I usually get paid when I dance.

All you're gonna
get is a good tanning

if you don't apologize
to them right now.

So I'm sorry.

I'm going to bed.

Must have been the
trip. She's wore down.

Of course.

I'm kind of wrung out
myself. Guess, I'll turn in.

- Good night.
- Good night.

Good night.


NED: Kellie, see you for a minute?
- It's open.

These people have gone
out of their way to be nice.

You have no cause
to act the way you did.

- I said I was sorry.
- Well, saying it isn't being it.

What is it, Funny Nose?

Pa, let's get out of
here. Right now, tonight.

But why?

Because we don't
belong here, that's why.

We never should have
come here in the first place.


Pa, ever since ma died,

it's just been the two
of us, just you and me.

Yes. Just you and me.

- It's been enough for you, hasn't it?
- More than enough.

For me too.

So let's just keep it that way.
We don't need anybody else.

We do now. Leastwise,
until my arm is healed.

So like it or not, we stay
here. You understand?

- If you say so.
- I say so.

And from here on
out, behave yourself.

- No more smart talk. You hear?
- I hear.

Good. Now, kiss the
old man good night.

And you go to bed.

And while we're here, don't
use this room for sulking.

Get out and learn
how to do something.

What for instance, milk a cow?

Why not? Might come
in handy one day.

Night, Funny Nose.

Milk a cow.


Big deal.

Miss Kellie?

What's the matter?
What happened?

Milk a cow, says Pa.


Look at me.

- I got more on me than in the bucket.
- Yeah.

It takes quite a knack
to milk old Bessie.

Sure must. That darned
milk went every which way.

What happen, see, when you
pull north, you gotta aim west.

- I'll show you sometime.
- Come on, show me now.

No cow is gonna get
the best of Kellie Conrad.

Oh, ooh! I'm sorry.

I should have looked
where I was going.

- Hi, Paul.
- Hello, Hoss.


I see you two have already met.

Well, not formally,
but pleasantly.

Paul Mandel, this is
Miss Kellie Conrad.

Hello, Kellie Conrad.


Well, look, come on in, Paul.

Paul here is a
gunsmith, Miss Kellie.

He is just about the best
there is in the country.

There ain't no kind
of weapon he can't fix.

Well, that must
be interesting work.

Nope, just a living.

Pa's got the chess board
all set up and waiting.

Well, chess takes a
lot of concentration.

Ben will probably
win every game.


Be the first dang
time he ever has.

Paul, you go and
make yourself at home.

Miss Kellie has got
some chores we gotta do.

No, Hoss, that
will wait till later.

I, um, gotta get cleaned up.

- I think that ought to do it.
- Hm.

Three in a row. I
know when I'm licked.


Pa, Kellie fixed us
some sandwiches

and brewed up a hot
pot of coffee for us.

BEN: Mm.

Oh, it smells good and looks
good too. Thank you, Kellie.

Just something I
thought you might enjoy.

Well, that's
awfully nice of you.

You and your father plan
to stay in Virginia City?

Only until my fiddling arm heals
up, then it's over the mountain we go.


I hope you're enjoying
your stay. Here.

I didn't at first, but I do now.

Remember this one, Funny Nose?


It's the first song you
learned to dance to.

Heh, that was too long ago.

Oh, you were about 4.

Come on, show
them what you can do.

Now you're under no
obligation. Just if you want to.

I want to, and for free.


No, no, no. Not like that.


If you're going to attempt
a ballet step, do it right.

Don't flop your hands around
like they were wet mops.

I never had any
complaints before, mister.

- If you don't like it...
- When you do a sauté en arabesque,

plié at the end of it with
control, always control, and...

Oh, I'm sorry.

I had no right to criticize.

Forgive me.

It's late, Ben. I
better be going.

No, that's all right, I
can find my own way out.

And again,

my apologies.

Good night.

NED: What do you know?

He didn't like the way
you danced. He said so.

And you just took it.

He was right, Pa.

It was so easy for him.

Even with a bad leg.


Mr. Cartwright, why
was it so easy for him?

At one time, Paul was one of the
leading ballet dancers in this country.

You mean he was
one of them fellas

who dances on a fancy
stage in tight pants?

Yes, he was one of those fellas.

I met him when he came
here to live in Virginia City.

We've become good friends.

But his leg, how
did that happen?

We don't know. It's something
he don't like to talk about.



You could say something, I
wouldn't feel so foolish standing here.

Heh, heh. Well, hello.

You busted up a good
party the other night.

Yeah, it's a habit of mine.
I'll try to do better next time.

I asked Mr. Cartwright about
you. He told me a few things.

Nothing of interest
to tell about me.

I thought there was. He
said you're a ballet dancer.

One of the best.

I was once a ballet
dancer, Ms. Conrad,

just as I was once a small boy.

Both are gone forever.

Now, if you'll excuse
me, I have work to do.

Would you teach me
to dance the ballet?

Would I what?

Oh, I know I got no right
even thinking about it,

me being a saloon
dancer and all,

but once, when I was small,
my ma took me to see the ballet.

It was so beautiful it
made my heart ache.

I'll never forget it.

I'd give anything, just
anything, to dance like that.

You came to the wrong person.
I'm a gunsmith, not a dancing master.

I figured there was
no use, but I had to try.

I'm sorry about what happened
to you. I mean, your leg and all.

I know what it must be
like not being able to dance.

Do you?

Like being hollow
and empty inside.

Like almost being dead...

and still having to go on.

That's what it
would be like for me.

You'd have to start
at the beginning.

Forget everything
you've learned.

There would be no pleasure,
no joy, just brutal, agonizing work.

You'll dance on feet
that are raw and bleeding.

And in the end, it
could be nothing.

You still wanna learn?


Tomorrow, here,
in the afternoon.

All right, first position,
hand on the bar.

Heels together, face the mirror,
apart, apart, apart, way out.

Don't look at them, there're still
there. Now relax, up, up. Arm up.

Look in the mirror.
Now, relax here.


First position.



Come on over here.

Just came in today.

Go ahead, open it, it's yours.

Time you were up on
your toes. Try them on.

They're beautiful.

I never had a gift so wonderful.

They are not a gift, they're tools
of your trade, something you need.

And, in time, you'll
come to hate them.





Up here, up here,
tense, relax. That's it.

More. Relax up there.

Straight. Straight.

Out. Out.

Ugh. I'm sorry.

Don't be sorry,
just do it right.

Now, again.


All right, again. And...

Hello, Hoss.

- Hi, Paul.
- That's it for today.


Find time tomorrow to
work on what I've shown you.

Hoss, uh, bring her
in earlier tomorrow.

She needs all the
practice she can get.

Sure will, Paul.


Here, let me give you a hand.


Gracious, Kellie, you shouldn't even
be on those feet, much less dancing.

Does Paul know about this?

He knows. Now, stop
worrying, Hoss. I'm fine.

Are you sure?

Sometimes I do a step,
and I know it's right,

it's like a happy bubble
bursting inside me.

This really means a
lot to you, doesn't it?

Means everything.

- You sure it's just the dancing?
- What else is there?

Well, there's, uh,
Paul, for example.

There's nothing else.

I'm the pupil, he's
the teacher. That's it.

Here you are all
tired and wore out

and me asking a bunch
of dang fool questions.

- Come on, I'll take you home.
- I'll go change.

Straighten that knee.

No, no, no! Look.

You're not using
your arms right.

Let your arms, your hands,
tell a story as much as your legs.

All right, start
the series again.


Straighten that knee.

Don't lose the center.


Ain't that just about the
prettiest sound you ever did hear?

Dang near it. How's
the hand doing?

Oh, the fingers are still a little
stiff, but they'll work out in time.

I just ain't got the words
to thank you, Hoss.

Ned, you don't need to.

I was responsible for the
other one getting busted.

The least I can do is
buy you a new fiddle.

How do you think
Kellie's gonna like it?

Like it? She'll climb up the walls
and dance all over the place. Ha, ha.

Yeah. Has, uh, Kellie showed you
any of the new stuff she's learning?

Nope, but I guess
she's gonna surprise me.

You know, uh, it ain't like no
dancing she's ever done before.

Dancing is dancing.

If it doesn't work out, we'll
just throw it out of the act.

Not that Kellie ain't
grateful like I am, Hoss.

But she's gonna be
one happy little girl

when I tell her we're
leaving out soon.

Yes, sir, I'll bet you she can hardly
wait to get back to all that noise

and excitement.

You know something, boy,
so am I. You coming in?

- As soon as I stable the horses.
- See you in a while, then.

- Whoop. Heh, heh.
- Giddyap.

PAUL: Soften your
arms a little more.

Keep your back straight.

Straighten that knee.



PAUL: It's still not right.

When you do piqué turns,
don't travel with them so much.

Keep your arms
closer in to your body.

All right, now start that again.


Oh. That is still not right.
You've got to spot more.

And keep those arms
closer to your body.

Now, let's do that
series again, right here.

Now maybe you've got all the
bad ones out of your system,

you'll do it right.

Again. And...



Oh, I can do it.

I'm sorry.

I guess I was just being
envious of what you could do

and what I know I'll
never be able to do again.

See, up until five years
ago, the ballet was my life.

And it was a complete life.

And then, uh...

a train wreck and this
and my life was over.

Oh, I still went
on, I still existed.

I even convinced myself that
what I had here was enough.

And then I watched you dance.

All the memories came
flooding back, all the torment.

Then why? Why did you teach me?

Because there's
a greatness in you,

a wonderful gift
that touches so few.

I couldn't deny that.

This is from the San
Francisco Ballet Company.

You're to audition
for the impresario.


Oh, I can't. I'm not ready.

You're ready. You'll make it.

At first, you'll
dance in the chorus,

but, in time, you'll be a
ballerina, one of the finest.

A ballerina? Oh, I wanna
believe that, but I'm afraid.

You believe it.

You'll travel the world
over. Paris, London, Rome.

You'll dance before
presidents and kings.

Paul, what about you?

I've been offered a
job with the company

as dancing master.
I've decided to accept.

Would that mean you'd
travel with the company?

Yes, I'd go along.

Does it make you
happy or doesn't it?

KELLIE: I'm happy. Very happy.

Hello, Paul, Funny Nose.
Surprised to see the old man?

- It's a nice surprise.
- I just rode into town with Hoss.


- Good as the day I bought them.
- That's great, Pa. Just great.

And look what else I got here.
Hoss give it to me tonight. A present.

Now, listen to this.


Ha, ha. Yes, sir,
isn't she a fine dandy?

This here little old violin is
gonna make us a heap of money.

Pa, I gotta tell you something.

I hear tell that they hit a
vein of silver ore in Concho.

That means that the whole town
is gonna be jumping with miners

just waiting to fill our
pockets with money.

Pa, I've got to tell you this.

You know, son, ever since Kellie
and I have been putting on our act,

I always told her
that I was the star

and that she just
went along for the ride.

But she's a grown woman now.

And I can tell her, you're
the star, Funny Nose.

You always were.

And the fiddle and me, well, it
was us went along for the ride.

We need you.

Without you, we
ain't nothing at all.

I wanted you to know.

I'll be out when I've changed.

I appreciate what you've
done for my daughter.

As soon as we get
a few dollars ahead,

I'd like to pay you for
your time and effort.

I've already been paid,
Mr. Conrad. Many times over.


Be great to get back
into harness again.

It'll be just like
before, you and me.

Like you said, we
don't need anyone else.

That's right, ain't
it, Funny Nose?

We don't need
anyone else, do we?

That's right, Pa. Just
you and me like before.


Let's go try out
my new violin, huh?

Why not?

Only don't get too fancy
with those introductions. Heh.






- Hoss.
- Hi, Ned.

- Buy you a drink?
- No, thank you, Hoss.

- Kellie and me, we're...
- I know.

Paul told me all about it.

No point in staying any longer.

Ned, has Kellie told you
about the offer she got?

No. What was that?

They want her to try out
for the San Francisco Ballet.

And Paul said she
could have made it.

And maybe she
couldn't have made it.

And it would all been a waste of
time. It's a bunch of foolishness anyway.

How do you know?

You've never seen
her dance the ballet.

It's like I said before, dancing
is dancing. It's all the same.

Besides, she told him
she was through with it.

- Hi.
- Hi, yourself.

I'm sure gonna
miss you, Ms. Kellie.

I'll miss you too.

I wonder if you'd do me
one favor before you leave.

Name it. Anything you ask, boy.

Well, I'd like to see you
dance one more time.

Well, that ain't asking for
much, but surely we'll do it.

Any special tune
you'd like to hear?


But I'd like to see
you do it in these.

No, I don't want to.

I can't.

Now, look, girl,

Hoss asked for one small favor.

We owe him that much.

Go ahead.



I've never seen
her look so beautiful.


I didn't know.

I didn't know.

Bye, ballerina.

Thank you, ma'am.

That's the nicest
gift anybody ever got.

I'll give you these back.

Kellie, look at me.

You love the old man?

That's a foolish question.

Then humor a foolish
old man and answer it.

All right, I love you.

And you'll believe me
when I tell you something?

I never had reason
to believe otherwise.

What's this all about, Pa?

You don't belong in
these places anymore.

You don't belong
with me anymore.

What are you talking about?

I'm talking about Rome, Paris,
London, big beautiful theaters,

places where you do belong.

Dancing in the way you
were meant to dance.

Pa, I won't listen
to talk like that.

You will listen.

There's a man out there who
loves you and you love him.

You've got something good
together, like your ma and I had.

Don't lose it.

I wanna be with you.

Because you think I want you to.

I did.

But I don't anymore.

Most of my life is behind
me. I've got no regrets.

It was a good life.

But yours is up front.

I want you to have
it, Funny Nose.

I want you to have your life.

Go to him. Tell him.

Pa, what'll I say?

You'll find a way. Get going.

Should open some windows.
Smoke in here is likely to blind a man.

How about that drink now?

Could use one.

That ballet company,

does it visit San
Francisco much?

Three times a year.

One thing about San Francisco,

with all those saloons,

they can always use
another fiddle player.

Yep, they sure can.



Behind the Scenes of The Ballerina

Barrie Chase’s brother, Frank, penned the script with her specifically in mind for the role of the dancer.

In the opening scene, Kellie is seen dancing on the bar, clad in leotards, a signature look associated with Barrie Chase’s character portrayal.

Frank Chase crafted this episode with his sister, Barrie Chase, a ballet dancer, in consideration.

Among Bonanza enthusiasts on the internet, this episode frequently emerges as their least favored in the entire series.

Looking for More Bonanza Episodes?

Bonanza is a beautiful, wholesome show for solo viewing or family enjoyment. The Ballerina is the 186th episode out of 430. Produced by NBC, Bonanza aired on their network from September 1959 to January 1973, spanning 14 seasons.

You can find more about any of the 430 Bonanza episodes here>>

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