Kerry Washington teamed up with Michelle Obama to honor students and teachers at Savoy Elementary School in Washington DC today. Both ladies spent time singing, dancing, and performing with the kids on stage, and the first lady made a special trip to one of the classrooms to show off her exercise skills and yoga moves. Between the fun, Michelle spoke to the students and faculty about the importance of overcoming failure — a valuable and encouraging message for Savoy. The school, which was once one of the lowest-performing in the District of Columbia, has shown significant signs of improvement since being designated as one of eight institutions selected for the Turnaround Arts Initiative by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2012.
Celebrities like Kerry Washington, Forest Whitaker, and Sarah Jessica Parker joined the Obama administration in those efforts to help turn around failing schools by integrating arts education. While on stage today, Michelle took the opportunity to use Kerry as an example of conquering setbacks in life, telling the crowd that the Scandal star made it big by not getting discouraged by rejection in her career. "She spent a lot of time practicing and working and trying out for things and having people tell her no," the first lady said, adding, "Could you imagine somebody telling Kerry that she wasn't pretty enough, she wasn't tall enough, she was too short? That's all performing is."