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Pre-release titles for this film were Dancing Partner and The Princess and the Dancer. The play Dancing Partner was produced by David Belasco and opened in Atlantic City, New Jersey in late July 1930 prior to its New York engagement. Irene Purcell reprised her role in the play for the picture. A March 1931 M-G-M studio cast sheet listed Lena Stengel in the part that was played by Maria Alba. Modern sources note that William Haines not only starred in the film, but handled the art direction as well.
According to censorship material in the MPAA/PCA Collection at the AMPAS Library, in March 1931 the Hays Office warned M-G-M that it was troubled by the too plainly stated intentions of "Lord Brummel" in a scene in which he says that he plans to seduce "Roxana" within a month's time. The Hays Office told M-G-M production chief Irving Thalberg that "the case is too bluntly stated and that it should be so phrased as to permit two interpretations; that is, the scene should be so worded as to allow the sophisticated to grasp the present meaning, while to all others it will simply mean that Robert is going to put Roxy under observation for a month to find out whether or not she is really all her uncle says she is." The office also recommended many other changes in the script, including the removal of a scene showing "Roxana" changing from her dress into pajamas; dialogue suggesting an improper act at a dentist office visit; and "the shot of a cherub on the fountain, 'using nature's method of adding to the water fountain.'"
Two weeks prior to the release of the film, Col. Jason S. Joy of the Hays Office wrote "I have seen Dancing Partner and am not able to determine whether it is good or bad. If it is thought of as light frothy fun, it is all right but if it is thought of as a serious problem, it is bad." The MPAA/PCA files also indicate that the film was rejected by censor boards in Ireland, Nova Scotia and British Columbia, which rejected the film because of the "light treatment of immoral sex subjects."