Part of the appeal of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” — and something that made it unique in the Star Trek Universe — was the stationary nature of the show. Unlike Kirk, Picard, Janeway or even Archer, Captain Benjamin Sisko mainly was bound to his space station, which only moved a few times, and at a very low speed.
Until the introduction of the U.S.S. Defiant, Sisko rarely went where “no one has gone before.” Instead, those “strange new worlds” came to him, which kept Odo very busy on the Promenade. Among the fun things to do aboard the station were make use of the holosuites, have a drink or play one of the many games at Quark’s Bar, Grill, Gaming House, and Holosuite Arcade.
Not unlike life on Earth, one of the ways that Quark (Armin Shimmerman) got the attention of passing Starfleet officers and alien visitors alike was packing his game area with beautiful women. These women, known as the Dabo Girls, were trained to attract new guests and run the games themselves.
The Dabo Girls
Most fans of “Deep Space Nine” will tell you that Leeta was the most famous of these so-called Dabo Girls. Leeta, played by actress Chase Masterson, eventually took on a more significant part in the series. Instead of just working the gambling area for Quark, Leeta was involved in all sorts of plots and storylines. She even married Rom (Max Grodénchik) and found herself in the middle of a high-stakes baseball game.
In a recent interview with TrekReport, Masterson said that there really is Dabo. She said that the actors would just spin the wheel and yell “Dabo” occasionally.
“There is no real game of Dabo,” Masterson said in the interview. “No game company has pitched this. But there ought to be. There aren’t even actual rules — I hate to break it to you!”
Though Leeta was the most high-profile of the Dabo Girls, quite a few others graced the bar during the seven years of “Deep Space Nine.” Here are a few of the notable names:
Aluura, Played by Symba Smith
Aluura appeared in the episode “Profit and Lace.” Fans will remember this episode as “the one where Quark dressed as a Ferengi female.” Aluura appeared at the start of the episode, when Quark tried to convince her to be “nicer” to him. He claimed that she was nice to everyone but him. Ironically, it was Quark who had to beat back unwanted male advances later in the story. Actress Symba Smith, who played Aluura, would also appear on an episode of “Star Trek: Voyager.”
Leosa, Played by Sharisse Baker-Bernard
The Dabo Girl Leosa didn’t actually appear on DS9. Instead, she popped up on an episode of “Star Trek: Voyager” — “Inside Man.” Leosa was an employee of the Ferengi Nunk (Michael William Rivkin) on his casino ship. She interacted with Reginald Barclay (Dwight Schultz) and told him that she was “a teacher, sometimes I’m a Bajoran Vedek. Whatever the customer wants.”
M’Pella, Played by Cathy DeBuono
M’Pella was played by Terry Farrell’s stand-in and body double, the slender Cathy DeBuono. DeBuono appeared in 23 episodes of “Deep Space Nine” in various roles, including a Breen prisoner, a Klingon at an auction and others.
According to her biography on Memory Alpha, M’Pella was one of the few Bajorans who were born “without rhinal ridges,” meaning that she never had the classic Bajoran make-up.
DeBuono is now quite busy, according to her IMDb listing. She can be seen on the television series “Crazy Bitches” and also the show “We Have to Stop Now.”