Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Children Pole Dancing?
A recent article has ignited another fire storm surrounding pole dancing. I will post the article, some Facebook comments, then I will give you my two cents.
Last updated at 7:51 PM on 26th July 2011
Girls as young as seven are being offered pole dancing lessons at a gym - and pictures of their moves have been posted on Facebook.
Parents and councillors have raised concerned for the safety of the girls after JLN Pole Fitness in Bolton, Greater Manchester, put the images online.
The instructor at the dance studio said the classes are fun, good exercise and do not teach their children anything erotic.
Kate Eaton, 33, from Harwood, takes her daughter Jen to the classes. She said: 'Jen had her seventh birthday party there with her friends. She loves it.
'I do not have a problem with it at all. It is nothing to do with lap dancing, it is gymnastics. It is not in the slightest bit sexual.
'I have put pictures of her on Facebook because she wants people to see what she can do. We wear short shorts and vest tops so we can grip the pole and they are not performing in front of anyone.
'If she was doing gymnastics in a leotard or at a swimming gala in a costume, anyone could be watching and people don't complain about that.'
Jess Leanne Norris, 18, who runs the classes, said: 'What I teach is pole fitness, nothing else. I have never received any complaints.
'There is nothing at all rude going on at JLN. I have had nothing but support, it is an art. We only put pictures on Facebook with parents' consent. It is nothing inappropriate.'
Concerns have been raised about the nature of the photographs being posted online.
Cllr Nick Peel, Executive Member for Children's Services, said: 'In general, parents and organisations need to be careful about publishing photos of children on the internet. It is unsafe and people trawl the internet looking for things like this.
'On the one hand, I don't want to jump to conclusions, but on the other, it is a dangerous world on the internet when it comes to children and people need to be aware of the situation they can be putting children into quite innocently.'
One mother, who asked not to be named, said: 'This concerns me greatly as I would not want my 13-year-old wandering round in hotpants and hanging upside down.
'They advertise as being aerobics/gymnastics with a pole but if you see the pictures, you will see this is not the case. These pictures are also being posted across Facebook and this just invites child grooming.'
A dance teacher, who also wished to remain anonymous, added: 'I think there has got to be a line that should not be crossed with children.
'Children want to do it and some parents will let them do it, but it could damage their developing bodies and that might not show now.'