On Monday night, at the Millennium Dance Complex in North Hollywood, California, a group of aspiring dancers between ages 4 and 7 received the shock of their lives when embattled pop star Britney Spears unexpectedly strolled in to teach the hour-long class.
According to Robert Baker, director of the complex, the role of teacher is one that suits Spears, who has taught classes at the facility before; the time she'd done so was soon after the birth of her second son, Jayden James, back in 2006.
"She's been a client for 10 years, and she loves dancing and she loves kids," Baker told MTV News on Tuesday (February 12). "She has been rehearsing in our facility for the last month and a half for her next video, and she said, 'You know, I'd love to teach a class.' It's something she's done sporadically over the last 10 years. And the kids just loved it. She asked me to pick some kids for her to teach. The kids loved her — she was warm and friendly."
Baker said Spears wore red boots, a green shirt, a black-and-white tie, black shorts and fishnet stockings.
Spears did such a good job that she's scheduled to lead another dance class on Tuesday evening — before a much larger group of 25 kids between ages 7 and 11.
"When she walked in, the kids were in shock — they didn't know she was going to be teaching, but we did tell the parents beforehand and they were thrilled," Baker continued. "She went over to the class, said, 'Hi, I'm Britney — what's your name?,' and she greeted them all individually. She got them warmed up and taught them a little routine, and they just had a blast. It was a wonderful experience for all."
Spears also taught the kids some of her signature moves, before having them form a large circle, in which one child at a time had their moment to shine, freestyle dancing in front of the entire class and the paparazzo-target; Baker said a cluster of photographers maintained a presence outside the studio for much of the night, and police were summoned to control what was "a chaotic" situation.
"She was rehearsing, and just said to me, 'I'd love to teach again,' " Baker said. "Her thing has always been giving back to the dancing community, so she loves it, and this place has been her kind of refuge away from the madness. We've grown up with her, and watched her grow up. She was with us from the beginning, and she is always welcome to teach here."
And according to Baker, the parents had no problem leaving their offspring with Spears. "One of the moms summed it up by saying, 'What a wonderful once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have my child taught by someone who has inspired so many kids to dance,' " Baker said. "I thought that was a pretty powerful statement."
As for Spears' erratic behavior as of late, Baker said he's never known that side of the singer — and he'd love for her to come back and teach as often as she'd like.
"She wasn't acting strange last night, and really, we have never seen her act strange," he said. "All the speculation out there that she has a mental illness ... that's never been an issue. We've never seen or experienced any of that."