This was written by the songwriting team of Bob Russell and Carl Sigman. The story of the song is detailed in The Carl Sigman Songbook
, where Sigman's son Michael writes: "When publisher Redd Evans received Russell & Sigman's 'Ballerina' (or 'Dance, Ballerina, Dance'), a stirring and heartbreaking story about a dancer who sacrifices love for stardom, Vaughn Monroe was the hottest singer around. But Redd and Vaughn weren't on speaking terms, so he gave the song to Jimmy Dorsey. Jimmy's band recorded it, and it fell flat. Redd quickly swallowed his pride and begged Monroe to consider the song. It was love at first listen, and soon Vaughn Monroe's 'Ballerina' was #1 on the charts. It remained at the top for five weeks, stayed in the top ten for nearly five months, and also became a hit for both Buddy Clark and Bing Crosby. A brilliant Nelson Riddle arrangement helped the song score on the charts again in 1957, this time for Nat King Cole, and it became a signature song for him."