Julianne Hough has defended Lara Spencer after she mocked Prince George for taking ballet lessons.

The 'Good Morning America' host found herself in hot water last week when she was reporting on news that the six-year-old Prince - who is the son of Prince William and Duchess Catherine - takes dance classes at school, and poked fun at the youngster for enjoying the hobby.

But now, former 'Dancing with the Stars' professional Julianne has said she doesn't think Lara intended to be ''malicious'' with her comments, and instead believes the backlash has been a good thing, as it has allowed dancers to have a ''voice''.

The 31-year-old dancer explained: ''I think everything happens for a reason. I think that that comment sparked an amazing resurgence and passion for dancers to have a voice. Dancers have always been in the background and so, for those comments to be made, it gave dancers a voice to show the dedication, the hard work, and the perseverance it takes to become a dancer.

''I love Lara and I don't think it was a malicious thing she intended to do. I think it was something that was unfortunate, and now it's been an amazing opportunity for dancers to step out and speak up and have a moment.''

Lara has since issued an apology for her comments, and Julianne feels ''proud'' that the dance community have accepted her apology without calling for her to be fired.

The 'America's Got Talent' judge told 'Entertainment Tonight': ''I also think it gave humanity and the world and the country an opportunity to also let somebody apologise for something and see it for what it is versus just saying, 'That's it,' and, 'I'm going to forever think of you that way.' I'm really proud of the dance community that they didn't take this and then just like shun or divide and separate or cancel.

''I'm so proud it, like, makes me emotional, because I'm so proud to be a part of the dance community that that's how we handled it versus just shunning people away.''

Prince William previously revealed that George loves dance and, on air last week, Lara laughed as she said: ''Prince William said Prince George absolutely loves ballet...I have news for you Prince William, we'll see how long that lasts.''

However, after a massive backlash, she issued an apology via Instagram, writing: ''My sincere apologies for an insensitive comment I made in pop news yesterday. From ballet to anything one wants to explore in life, I say GO FOR IT. I fully believe we should all be free to pursue our passions. Go climb your mountain - and love every minute of it (sic).''