It wasn’t the lesson the students, or their parents, expected at a Shenzhen kindergarten on the school’s open day, and it probably seemed like a good idea at the time to the principal.

But when a scantily clad woman gyrated in a pole dance for parents and their children as they arrived for the first day of the school year, questions were asked about the curriculum.

“The goal was to get the kids to learn more about one variety of dance,” Lai Rong, the principal, told a Chinese media outlet. That goal was certainly achieved.

Parents who took their children to the Xinshahui kindergarten in the Bao’an district of Shenzhen were left in a state of shock after the racy performance in the school courtyard.

One surprised parent was Michael Standaert, a Bloomberg freelance reporter, who took photos and videos and posted them on Twitter. “Who would think this is a good idea?” Standaert asked.

“The principal hung up on my wife when she called after saying it was ‘international and good exercise.’ Okay, yeah for adults maybe, but not 3- to 6-year-old kids.”

Standaert’s tweets went viral and eventually the Bao’an educational bureau informed the headmaster that the pole dance was “inappropriate.” In a Weibo post, the bureau asked the owner of the kindergarten to apologize to the parents and public, and to sack the principal.

Lai Rong, the principal of the kindergarten, issued an apology, stating that she thought inviting professional dancers to the kindergarten to perform for the parents would liven up the “mood” on the first day.

“I did not think through the contents of the performance … It was a very terrible viewing experience for the kids and the parents. For that, I sincerely apologize,” she said.

She added that she was thinking of asking for forgiveness from the parents and also promising she would not teach the children this form of dance.

At least one parent saw the funny side, and posted on his Twitter account: “This is probably something to encourage the dads to pick up their kids. If my daughter’s kindergarten is like this, I will go pick her up every day.”