After seeing him on television's "So You Think You Can Dance" and in magazines, master students at LKW Dance Studio learned from Billy Bell Saturday afternoon.
"You're giving as much to them as they're giving back to you," Bell said about why he loves teaching.
He worked with the students on warm-ups, strength, technique and routines.
For the younger students, he did more improvisational dancing, making up the routine on the spot, based on the different levels he saw.
The older students learned a more developed routine from Bell, who founded Billy Bell's Lunge Dance Collective, based in New York.
Bell said he always was told to teach to the highest level in the room so that someone who is not at that level has to work harder to get there.
"It's really productive," Bell said. "It's interesting to see them figure it out."
Director Alison Stroop wanted to bring Bell to the dance studio because the students first heard of him on the dance competition show "So You Think You Can Dance" and went to a dance competition called JUMP, where he taught and performed.
"They liked him in the classroom and he's an amazing dancer to watch," Stroop said. "They were a little starstruck."
Owner Lauri Welteroth knew him because she has a home in Palm Beach, Fla., where he lives. His dad is a contractor who was working on Welteroth's home and she asked him if Billy taught master classes. He said yes, and a few months later Welteroth invited Bell to her house and asked him to squeeze a trip to Montoursville into his tight schedule.
"My girls are in love with him," Welteroth said. "And it went from there."
With Hurricane Sandy, it was unclear whether he would be able to make it. He rented a car that, because of the gas shortage, only had a quarter tank of gas, which got him as far as New Jersey, where there also was a gas shortage. He had to wait in line and with only 50 minutes until the gas station closed, he only was allowed to buy $25 worth of gas, enough for half of a tank.
Luckily, he made it to Montoursville.
"It's a wonderful opportunity for (the students)," Welteroth said. "I think he will go down as one of the greatest dancers of our time."
Stroop agreed it was a great experience for the students and said she liked to expose the kids to a variety of dancers and dances.
"There's so much going on in the dance world," Stroop said. "I want them to be versatile, even if they're not great at one style."
The routine Bell taught will be one added to their repertoire for competitions.
LKW Dance Studio will go to three competitions this dance season - Lancaster, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Students bring between 20 to 25 dances to each competition.
At age 14, Bell started dancing later than most dancers who begin by 12.
He began because he was interested in break dancing, but found that his body was not quite suited for it. Instead, he was a great candidate for ballet because of his flexibility.
His interest now is a contemporary ballet fusion, which is allowed to grow, but still be beautiful, he said.