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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sneaky-Peeky Sunday: Britney, Inside The Dream by Steve Dennis



'.......savouring the anticipation of performing. But that's where the 'Dennis warning' provided the blinkers and Chuck's opinion was that the top grades achieved speak their own truth: 'The only times we had problems with getting the kids to concentrate was if they had been on stage in front of a live audience, or were due to perform live. That would present some difficulties, because, naturally, they were either gearing themselves up or coming down from the high. But most of the time, they adapted well, like little professionals.

 'We must have been doing something right because in the four years I was there, I never needed to pull out one 'mouseketeer.' I maybe had to issue the threat on six or eight occasions to two main culprits - and Britney wasn't one of them!'

 Naturally, she was far too attentive to be anything other than well behaved, just as her mama had raised her. 'I'll never forget Britney sat on a chair, looking around, perky and smiling. She was so small that her legs dangled off the front, and her toes couldn't touch the floor,' recalls Chuck Yerger.

He still holds dear Britney's report cards - an 8 X 11 in sheet of paper that was prepared to send to Park Lane Academy, which allowed teachers to track her progress from afar. What they saw was mainly straight As across the board.

 On face value, such grades seem impressive but Britney was only an average student in terms of academic ability. Her A-grades were a relatively easy reach within a 6th and 7th Grade curriculum regarded as somewhat fundamental: basic maths and vocabulary lists, and memorising basic science, geographical and historical facts.

 'There was a lot of filling in worksheets and learning long lists and facts,' said Chuck. 'Britney's strength was learning all this like she was learning lines. She was great at memorisation, great at direction and great at reeling off lists of words, without really exploring what it all meant.'

- Debolina Raja Gupta