Dance Lessons is the twenty-first 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.


Spinelli tries to start a fight with Willy in the playground after he called her a girl. However, Ms. 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 tells her that she has enrolled Spinelli in dance classes to help her control her extra engery 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, Ms 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. 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 don 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 become more intense, with dancing, twirls and a massive throw to finish.  The dance ends to raptuous appluase.

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 the 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 error: Shortly after Spinelli and Mikey's performance, Gretchen's overbite is missing.
  • Coloring error: When Spinelli is talking to Mademoiselle Pavlova towards the end of the episode, Spinelli's bangs turn yellow.
  • Coloring error: When Miss Grotke's telling the class about "the birds and the bees", Ashley Q.'s hair is blonde.
  • Consistancy 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: When Mikey is telling Spinelli why he started taking dance, his face disappears for a frame.
  • Consistency error: When T.J. dances out of the school pretending he's Mademoiselle Pavlova, he's not wearing a backpack. For the rest of the scene, he's wearing a backpack.
  • Animation error: When Mikey tells the others that he's in the dance recital, Spinelli is behind him. In the next shot of Mikey, she's gone, and the next shot she's reappeared in the same position.
  • Animation error: When Spinelli is telling Mikey why she can't be in the recital, her eyes are bigger than usual.
  • 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.
  • 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 error: When Mikey is spinning Spinelli on his feet, the bottom part of her recital dress is opaque instead of transparent.
  • Coloring error/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 and a pink tank top.
  • Coloring error: When Spinelli's parents come to meet her at the end of the show, Flo's tank top is navy blue.
  • Coloring error: When Spinelli first comes out wearing her pink ballet dress, the rings on her boots are black.


  • This is the first episode to be animated by Toon City.
  • This episode includes the only appearances of Mademoiselle Pavlova and the Megans.
  • 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.

Cultural References

  • When the Megans laugh at Spinelli's boots, the dialogue goes:
Megan: "Nice boots!"
Spinelli: "The better to kick you with, butthead!"
This is a reference to Little Red Riding Hood, in which the girl comments on the wolf's features:
LRRD: "What big eyes you have!"
Wolf: "The better to see you with, my dear!"


  • T.J. Detweiler - Andrew Lawrence
  • Vince LaSalle - Rickey D'Shon Collins
  • Ashley Spinelli - Pamela Segall-Adlon
  • Gretchen Grundler - Ashley Johnson
  • Mikey Blumberg - Jason Davis
  • Gus Griswald - Courtland Mead
  • Miss Finster - April Winchell
  • Miss Grotke - Allyce Beasley
  • Flo Spinelli - Katey Segall
  • Bob Spinelli/TV Announcer - Sam MacMurray
  • Mr. Blumberg - Jess Harnell
  • Mademoiselle Pavlova - Nada Despotovich
  • Willy - Justin Shenkarow
  • Tracey/Megan #1/Megan #4 - Anndi McAfee
  • Megan #2 - Francesca Smith
  • Megan #3/Kid #2 - Rachel Crane
  • Kid #1 - Ryan O'Donohue