Are you hot enough? Beautiful just doesn’t cut it and forget trying to be smart or talented. Nope, hot is the new end all be all. Young girls aspire to be hot and moms strive to be MILFS. When did this happen? And why? At The Cult of Hotness blog, we cast a beady eye over the culture of hotness we live in today, as well as pockets of ‘Hot Resistance’, in an effort to generate discussion with YOU and empower women to make choices in their best interest, and not just for the sake of being HOT.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Pole dancing for pre-teens?

Would you send your 12 year old for pole dancing classes? I was stuck by this article in the British tabloid newspaper the Daily Mirror reported by Laurie Hanna on May 21, 2011, entitled:

Pole dance classes for children of 12?

TWIRLING around like a strip club dancer is not most parents’ idea of a healthy activity for their child.

But one teacher begs to differ – and sparked outrage yesterday by offering pole dancing classes for girls as young as 12.

The lessons are being promoted as a “gymnastic art” with organisers claiming youngsters will end up fitter, stronger and more self confident.

But the pole dancing venture for 12 to 15-year-olds was immediately condemned yesterday.

Furious resident Wilma Heveran, 46, blasted: “It’s diabolical. It’s sick”.

“At that age, they should be playing rounders or netball. I work in a school and I see plenty of kids growing up too fast. It’s more important than ever to protect their innocence.”

Hollie Ferguson, 26, said: “It’s just wrong. I was into dance at a young age – hip hop, disco, freestyle. There is plenty for kids to do to keep fit and have fun.

“No matter what you argue, the girls will be recreating the moves they’ve learnt as soon as they go out.”’

South West Devon MP Gary Streeter added: “We do not want 12-year-olds parading as if in some kind of strip club.”

The £5-an-hour classes were launched this week by the The Art of Dance pole dance and burlesque school in Plymouth.

Sam Remmer, who founded the company, yesterday defended the venture.
She said: “Many people don’t understand the difference between fitness pole dancing and exotic dancing.

“There is a big difference and it is unfortunate that those criticising my decision to run kids’ classes haven’t educated themselves as to the difference. To understand fitness pole dancing you have to see the pole as a climbing frame which basically means it is a gymnastic apparatus.”

But the Mother’s Union, a Christian group which supports families, said: “We are concerned children are being targeted with an activity that’s part of a male club culture which objectifies women.”

Ms Remmer received death threats in 2009 after her dance company reportedly gave college students as young as 14 lunchtime pole-dancing demonstrations.

I took a look at the dance school in question, The Art of Dance, Pole Dance & Burlesque School in Plymouth, Devon, and at the pole dancing for 12 year olds in particular, following is the class desription:

Our new high impact gymnastic pole dancing classes in Plymouth for those aged 12-15 years old.  Classes are held every Thursday at 5pm and cost just £5.

This is a new exercise concept for teenagers wanting a different way to keep fit, have fun and socialise. We teach the gymnastic art of fitness pole dancing and include elements of Western Pole Dancing, Chinese Pole and Mallakhamb.

Please note that all children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for at least their first session and the parent/guardian will be asked to sign the PAR'Q and advice sheet on behalf of the child attending. If you have any questions about these classes pleae contact the art of dance for more information.

To book your place just use the payment button shown below.

In the UK at least there is a pole dancing community with an accreditation scheme for instructors and strict code of conduct. Well that’s great, any form of dance should have health and safely standards. But pole dancing for kids?

So, is pole dancing empowering? Adult women should surely be free to make their own informed choices. But 12 year olds? Even if it is gymnastic exercise as the dance school claims, its roots and associations still link it to the sex industry and that is not appropriate for 12 year olds.

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