Pole dancing has gone from strip clubs to fitness clubs, but with one studio in Melbourne offering pole fitness classes to kids as young as 4 years old, it has sparked debate about whether the exercise is appropriate for little ones.
The introduction of child pole fitness classes hasn’t exactly been met with excitement, and with moves like “bumslide to splits” and “sexy flexy”, you can imagine why.
Former showgirl in the exotic industry, Lisa Singh, who owns and operates her own pole dancing fitness club, which offers classes to children as young as 4 years old, spoke to the Daily Mail, saying pole fitness is just a fun way for children to get fit.
“For a lot of parents it can be difficult to motivate teenagers to exercise and get involved in sports, pole is just another avenue that can be utilised to help build strength, stay healthy, active and build confidence,” said Singh, who has an 11-year-old daughter, Justice, herself.
Singh explains the difference between pole dance and pole fitness in her Pole Acrobatics profile, saying pole dance is more about the art of seduction, while fitness focuses on tricks rather than glitz — which means there are no heels allowed and there is no dancing, but more pole climbing.
But childhood experts aren’t so sure things are that simple, saying pole dancing is still too closely associated with exotic dancing and stripping and has the possibility of sexualising young girls.
“When I hear about mums taking their daughters to classes like this, it angers and astonishes me,” child psychologist, Emma Kenny, told news.com.au.
“To encourage young girls to use their bodies in a sexual manner is not, in my opinion, moral. Children are being pushed into adulthood long before they need to, and this is one of the most extreme examples yet.”
But what if we called pole dancing something else? What if we called it Chinese pole climbing instead or fire pole acrobatics? Would it still be considered a sexualised activity rather than a gateway activity to becoming a stripper? What about if we call it pole gymnastics and swap the ideas of kids running around in sequinned booty shorts and instead think of it as something that might one day make it to the Olympic Games?
What do you think? Should pole fitness be left for the adults or is climbing a pole just the same as climbing a tree? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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