is best known for her singing and dancing, so it's no wonder that when it came time to flex her acting muscle, she went for a show that's always full of performance and musical numbers: The CW's
On Tuesday's (May 10) episode, Ciara guest stars as herself when Lewis (
Robbie Jones) and Alice (
Heather Hemmens) decide to face off in a dance marathon she's judging. Like the characters, Ciara herself was a cheerleader, though she never quite got to do anything as crazy as the dance competition.
"We didn't have as many of the cool things that they got to do, like for example, in the set up that I did, they're having a really long dance contest, like a dance marathon. My school's never done something like that!" she says. "They definitely had a bit more resources in comparison to what we had in high school, but you still get to see them moving within that cheerleading school environment feeling."
Still, Ciara says that her cheerleading experience gave her a "strong connection to the actual show."
The episode was directed by Debbie Allen (of "Fame" fame), which gave Ciara quite a thrill. "Coming from my world when it comes to shooting music videos and doing all the dancing and stuff, it's fun, but it's almost like you get even more excited because it's kind of a very lightweight, small way of collaborating," she says. "So it's almost like I got a chance to collaborate with Debbie Allen, and that felt really special to me."
Ciara performs her single "Gimme Dat" in the episode, and she says she particularly loved the way that Allen shot the number.
"She really gets dance," she says. "She understands it and she knows how to shoot it like no one else. She has that classic eye for being able to shoot dance, and that's what was even more cool about it. When you look at it there were certain angles that she shot of me - I'm not sure what the edit looks like all the way just yet because I'll be seeing it for the first time with the world, but there were certain things that she did that I really loved. I was just thinking, 'Oh my gosh. She's truly a genius.'"
Hemmens and Jones
previously told us
how impressed they were with Ciara's considerable dance skills, and Ciara says that the admiration was mutual. She particularly connected with the background dancers who work on the show regularly. "Truthfully, it was really an organic thing," she says. "I have a respect for dancers because of what I do and the way that I connect to it. I appreciate them."
noted that he'd love to have Ciara return. She's on board. "Absolutely!" she says enthusiastically. "Me and the producer kind of joked about some kind of idea, and I would definitely love to go back again and be part of that crew and cast because that really was fun."
For more from Ciara on her Maxim Hot 100 placement and her record label drama, check out Liz Kelly Nelson's
Reporting by Liz Kelly Nelson.