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"Dance Lessons" is the twenty-third episode of the second season of Recess, which was first broadcast on January 16th, 1999.



Spinelli is enrolled in Dance Class after she skirmished with a boy in the playground.

Main Story

Spinelli tries to start a fight with Willy in the playground after he called her a girl. However, Miss Finster steps in, and tells Spinelli that as this is the seventh time this month, she will be calling her parents. At home, Spinelli's mother, Flo, tells her that she has enrolled Spinelli in dance classes to help her control her extra energy since it worked well for Flo who took dance classes when she was younger. Flo also says that if she refuses to take them, she will ban wrestling from the house until she is 21. At Mademoiselle Pavlova's Salon of Independent Movement, Mademoiselle Pavlova tries to get a reluctant Spinelli to participate. After she tries to lash out at the other students, the Megans, Mademoiselle Pavlova tells her that she reminds her of a "little girl in old country". She also sees in her a perfect partner for "Michail", who turns out to be Mikey.

Mikey tells Spinelli that he was enrolled in dance class because, due to his size, his parents thought he could stand to be more graceful. However, due to his weight, the floor would shake and other students would fall or meet some kind of accidents, and when he tried a spin on someone, she would go twirling until she falls. After several failed attempts at trying to get him to dance with other students, he was relegated to dancing in the studio and stage managing. Spinelli offers to be his dance partner, as she is tougher than the other girls.

While there are problems at first, eventually Mikey and Spinelli become the perfect dancing partners. Mademoiselle Pavlova tells them that, because of their hard work, she has booked a very special dance show for them. At school, Miss Grotke tells the class that the next Friday, they will be treated to a very special dance recital from Mademoiselle Pavlova's school. Outside, T.J., Vince, Gretchen, and Gus mock the idea, which forces Mikey to reveal that he is from Mademoiselle Pavlova's school, and will be in the recital. As the kids laugh, and Spinelli does not speak up, Mikey storms off, as T.J and the other stopped laughing and T.J. told Mikey that they were just kidding. Finding him in the street, Spinelli tells Mikey that she cannot risk the reputation she has built in school, and so cannot perform in the show. Mikey is greatly saddened as he walks home.

At the recital, the gang promise each other to support Mikey. However, Mademoiselle Pavlova reveals that Mikey's dance "Wings of Trouble" has been cancelled. This, along with T.J.'s mocking of the Megans and seeing a despondent Mikey, eventually convince Spinelli to do her costume and become Mikey's partner again. The school is shocked to learn of Spinelli's involvement, and cannot believe their eyes as their performance starts out similar to the Megans'. However, it soon becomes more intense, with dancing, twirls and a massive throw to finish. The dance ends with a rapturous applause.

The gang congratulate Spinelli and Mikey backstage. Spinelli's parents also join them, saying that Mademoiselle Pavlova called them. When Spinelli asks her how she knew she would dance, Mademoiselle Pavlova, reveals that the "little girl in old country" was her, and that she too had to learn that reputation was not as important as friends. As Spinelli and Mikey leave, she muses that there may be "hope for new country after all..."



  • Animation/continuity error: Shortly after Spinelli and Mikey's performance, Gretchen's overbite is missing.
  • Animation/coloring/continuity error: When Spinelli is talking to Mademoiselle Pavlova towards the end of the episode, her crown has a line through it, and her scalp turns yellow.
  • Coloring/continuity error: When Miss Grotke's telling the class about "the birds and the bees", Ashley Q.'s hair is blonde.
  • Animation/consistency error: When the Megans are first shown, the Hispanic Megan is behind the blonde Megan. After Mademoiselle Pavlova corrects the blonde Megan's position, the Hispanic Megan is standing in front of her. When Spinelli comes out in her tutu, the Hispanic Megan is back behind the blonde Megan. Also when the Megans first appear, the redhead freckled Megan is standing in the back of the girls, with the African American Megan in the front. After Spinelli comes out, they switch places.
    Animation error in Dance Lessons.PNG
  • Animation/continuity error: When Mikey is telling Spinelli why he started taking dance, his face disappears for a frame.
  • Animation/consistency error: When T.J. dances out of the school pretending he is Mademoiselle Pavlova, he is not wearing a backpack. For the rest of the scene, he is wearing a backpack.
  • Animation/continuity error: When Mikey tells the others that he is in the dance recital, Spinelli is behind him. In the next shot of Mikey, she is gone, and the next shot, she reappeared in the same position.
  • Animation/continuity error: When Mikey asks Spinelli to tell about the dance recital while the others are laughing, Spinelli suddenly has nostrils. Her nostrils disappear soon afterwards.
  • Animation/continuity error: When Spinelli is telling Mikey why she cannot be in the recital, her eyes are bigger than usual.
  • Animation/coloring error: When the gang arrives at the recital, Randall is drawn with dark skin and black hair, Judy's tank top is drawn with long sleeves, Megan's lips are missing, and Stinky Peterson is drawn with black dot eyes instead of white eyes with black pupils.
  • Animation/consistency error: When the gang first arrives at the recital, Megan is sitting in the back of the gang in the auditorium, and Phil is sitting next to the kid in the blue tank top on his left. After the gang find out that Mikey's part was cut, Megan is sitting in front of them, and the kid in the blue tank top is sitting next to Judy on her right.
  • Animation/continuity error: When Mikey is spinning Spinelli on his feet, the bottom part of her recital dress are opaque instead of transparent.
  • Coloring/animation error: At the very end of the recital when the audience cheers, the first grade boy with the blue hat, brown hair, and green sweater is colored to look like T.J., and Flo has blonde hair, a pink tank top, and no glasses.
  • Coloring/continuity error: When Spinelli's parents come to meet her at the end of the show, Flo's tank top is navy blue, and her skin color is paler than usual.
  • Coloring/continuity error: When Spinelli came out wearing her pink ballet dress for the first time, the rings on her boots are black.
  • Coloring/continuity error: The straps of her pink ballet dress turns light pink three times.
    1. When Spinelli got an idea for Mikey.
    2. When Mademoiselle told her students that they worked "very hard".
    3. When Mikey and Spinelli caught their dance recital costumes.
  • Animation/consistency error: When Spinelli says "Oh, brother", one of her eyes is pointing at a different direction, make her expression look strange.
  • Animation/consistency error: When T.J. whistles while the audience are cheering, Gretchen's lips are thinner than usual.
  • Animation/consistency error: When Spinelli told Gus that it sounded just great, the gems on her crown are shaped differently, and they are smaller than usual.
  • Coloring/consistency error: When Spinelli comes and tells Mikey to get the show on the road, her skin color is paler than usual.
  • Animation/continuity error: Many characters have thick eyebrows during various parts of the episode.
A film flaw in Dance Lessons.jpg


  • There is one big flaw in the flashback where Mikey is glad to have his first dance lessons.



  • This is the first episode to be animated by Toon City.
    • This is also the only season two episode to be animated by Toon City; the rest of the season two episodes are animated by Plus One Animation.
  • This episode includes the only appearances of Mademoiselle Pavlova and the Megans.


  • When the Megans laugh at Spinelli's boots, it is an allusion to the fairytale, Little Red Riding Hood, in which the girl comments on the wolf's features.

International Information

  • The episode is rumored to have been banned in the UK for several weeks due to the scene in which Miss Grotke says, "and that is what's meant by The Birds and the Bees." The rumor has not been proved true nor false.