Michelle Obama surprises students in a dance class at her former high school: Part 5

The former first lady visits her alma mater, Whitney Young High School, where she said, "You were encouraged to work hard here and to excel... So I felt free here."
6:36 | 11/12/18

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Transcript for Michelle Obama surprises students in a dance class at her former high school: Part 5
I have not played the piano in so long. ?????? That's it. ?????? Now that I taught myself. I grew up in a household of music. Music was important and it still is. It really set me on a course. Good afternoon. Welcome to the white house. Reporter: Mrs. Obama says she used music as a way to open up the white house and to bring more diverse voices into the space. It's the people's house. It's a place that's steeped in history, but also it's a place where we like to start new traditions. ?????? It was important to me for young people to know that the white house was theirs too. We didn't want them to just be looking in through the wrought iron Gates, thinking, "I wonder what's going on in there." Reporter: In 2012 she created special state dinners designed just for children. All this stuff was picked out especially for you guys. It is really an honor to be here. Whether it was a music event, or whether it was the state dinner, during that earlier part of the day we'd have a companion event with young kids from around the country. They could eat the food as well and meet the entertainers. And did it mean something to bring something different to the white house, different music that had not been played there before? Different music, different people, absolutely. I mean it's why our first cultural event was spoken word. ??? The $10 founding father without a father ??? Reporter: It was at that event where she first met playwright and composer Lin Manuel Miranda. He said he was going to perform a Meese on Alexander Hamilton. ??? His name is Alexander Hamilton ??? And Barack and I almost laughed in his face. And he went out and performed the first number of the now award winning musical. And afterwards he said, "I think I'm gonna go and turn this into a Broadway show." You laugh but it's true. And we were like, "Good luck with that, kid." Reporter: And the rest, as they say, is history. Beyond the white house, Mrs. Obama's influence continues to touch younger generations. Perhaps nowhere is she a bigger role model than at her ALMA mater, Whitney young high school on Chicago's west side, home of the dolphins. It was here that a teenage Michelle Robinson continued to find her voice unafraid to be young, gifted and black. You were encouraged to work hard here and to excel. And it wasn't unusual. And, you know, so I felt free here. Reporter: We brought Mrs. Obama back to the high school to drop in on a dance class with the help of the school's principal, Dr. Joyce kenner. Okay, so here we go. Reporter: The class is rehearsing for an upcoming performance and thinks the camera crew is there to film it. Can I have everybody's attention? Can you turn that off? You guys, we have a very special guest for you guys to meet and be introduced to. How are you guys doing? What's happening? Who's that? Oh, my goodness. Look at you guys. So what, what, what is this? What are you all doing? Yeah? You know, I wasn't, like, in a dance troupe like you guys. I was, like, doing my kick with a bad extension. You know my knee wasn't straight, my toe wasn't really pointed. But there was effort there in that face. I was never as good as any of you. But just being able to have, you know, music and dance and arts that fueled me. I know you see her right now. And you would not know that she walked around in these halls saying, "Am I good enough?" I talked about this -- I write about a story here where the college counselor, I wanted to apply to princeton. She told me I wasn't princeton material. Can you imagine that? She doesn't work here anymore. But that was just one of many examples of the doubters. Instead of walking away going, "Yeah, you're right, maybe she's right," I would always think, "I'll show you." And I'm gonna work hard and I'm gonna make sure that people know that I am substantive and smart and kind and patriotic and hard working. All right. I'm going to get out of your hair because you guys have big things. You gotta practice. Can we dance for you? Yes. I would love that. Oh, yes. We're performing for Michelle Obama. ??? Inside my mouth I can narrow the voice over the ledge see you again ??? You can do that? Is that what you all are doing in this room? I'm so proud of you. I'm gonna cry. You guys are gonna make me cry. Do not doubt anything. Anything. If you can get out here, look you got cameras and secret service and robin Roberts. The first lady. The first lady. I mean you guys just did that like, whatever. Could we get you to sign the poster? Yes. Reporter: And the visit would not be complete without signing that poster. That's beautiful. We love you. I would love to hug each and

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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