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Finally OK or Still Icky? Dance Studio Offers Stripper Pole Classes for Kindergartners

By Meredith Carroll |

Pole dancing

If a 5-year-old does it, is it not erotic?

Is it time that stripper poles come out of the (bedroom) closet and into mainstream gyms for fitness-seekers of all ages?

When a studio in England, Make Me Fabulous, announced last year it was holding stripper pole classes for kids as young as 3, there was an understandable outcry, especially since the little girls taking to the pole were dripping in feather boas and in front of sparking mirrors, making it seem less like exercise and more like a glimpse into the future, at which time dollar bills would be stuffed into their panties.

But in a little over a year’s time, pole dancing seems to be taking on a new tenor, which is that of legitimate exercise — for workout-enthusiasts of all ages. There’s even talk of pole dancing becoming an official Olympic sport. And now a dance studio in western Canada is offering pole-dancing classes for kids as young as 5, according to ABC News (via UPI), and they say it’s all about exercise and nothing to do with sex.

Would you let your kindergartner work out on a pole?

Twisted Grip Dance and Fitness Studio on Vancouver Island offers pole-dancing classes, Little Spinners, to “provide children [with] a healthy workout and has nothing to do with sex.”

“There is nothing provocative. There is nothing sexual about it,” the instructor there said. “It’s pure fitness and strength and fun. I mean kids love climbing trees. They will climb anything.”

So, is it time we stop assuming that anyone who takes to the pole is doing so with fewer and fewer clothes on as the song progresses? And if so, does that make it appropriate for little girls to work out on the pole, or will the sport never shake its less-than-family friendly stench?

Interest in the sport has doubled over the past six years, with thousands of dancers worldwide training to compete in international pole competitions.

Apparently children as young as 7 were allowed to compete at the Russian national championships for pole dancing in St. Petersburg this week. The International Pole Sport Federation, which has established bylaws and rule books, is also working hard to get the sport included in the 2020 Games.

“The biggest challenge is going to be the stereotyping that we have to deal with. And you know, quite frankly everyone thinks pole fitness and pole sport and everything came out of strip clubs but it started long before then,” Tim Trautman, president of the IPSF, said.

“We have to take some of the eroticism out of the moves and also take off the high heels. We’re going to frame it as these are athletes that you’re watching.”

Even if pole dancing becomes an Olympic sport, would you sign up your young daughter for lessons?

Photo credit: iStock

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About Meredith Carroll


Meredith Carroll

Meredith C. Carroll is an award-winning columnist and writer based in Aspen, Colorado. She can be found regularly on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post. From 2005-2012 her other column, "Meredith Pro Tem" ran in several newspapers, as well as occasionally on The Huffington Post since 2009. Read more about her (or don’t, whatever) at her website. Read bio and latest posts → Read Meredith's latest posts →

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2 thoughts on “Finally OK or Still Icky? Dance Studio Offers Stripper Pole Classes for Kindergartners

  1. goddess says:

    Nope. Still icky and squicky here.

  2. Sanriobaby =^.^= says:

    I can see the physical benefits of this type of activity but honestly, the public perception of “pole dancing” is still too adult and taboo for children to participate, especially if it’s being done with feather boas. It’s that very type of accessory that sexualizes the activity unneedingly. The lesson can be taught just as well with a standard uniform of shorts and a sports top. If and when pole dancing becomes an Olympic sport, maybe with time, these types of classes won’t seem so taboo, but until then, I won’t be paying for any pole dancing classes for my daughter. Like my husband says, it’s our job to keep her “off the pole!”, lol……

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