Rihanna’s marshmallow dancers at the Super Bowl halftime show found out about her pregnancy in the same way that everyone else did – and some didn’t catch on until they watched the performance back on YouTube.
The singer hired 280 dancers for her career-spanning performance, most of which were not people she had worked with in the past in any professional capacity. For some, like Luhnyae Campbell, it was their first paid dancing gig. During the set, one dancer on the highrises could be seen slipping in some TikTok choreography instead of what was rehearsed. Surely Rihanna couldn’t have trusted them to keep an entire baby under wraps.
“I did not know she was pregnant,” Campbell shared in a TikTok on Monday. “Probably her main backup dancers who are there for every tour, every event [knew]. But me, this being my first gig and me just rehearsing with Rihanna for one week, I did not know. She came into rehearsals with big fur coats, or Fenty sets all the time, the big sweatshirt ones. And so, I was surprised, too.”
Campbell added: “I was low key mad at everybody ’cause I was like, this is just her postpartum body, why are you judging her? But no, she is actually pregnant.”
According to Entertainment Tonight, the dancers were selected towards the end of January and had two weeks to rehearse with choreographer Parris Goebel before the big show. They were only joined by Rihanna during the final week.
“We were all confused watching it during the real thing when she went up there and was showing her stomach,” dancer Laila Hayes told ET. “She wore the same outfit for one of the dress rehearsals, but it was zippered up.”
When Rihanna agreed to perform at the Super Bowl, she wasn’t yet aware of baby number two. “Crazy how both of my babies were in these photos, and mommy had no clue,” the singer wrote on Instagram while sharing photos from her recent British Vogue cover shoot.
“Having a kid honestly unlocks another side of life where you’re now in the matrix with the people who’ve already had kids,” Rihanna added, recalling meetings she would have with her team that ran late into the night or early into the next morning. “You come to have a different respect for moms and dads.”