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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