Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Children and Pole Dancing Back In The News

Last year, I posted about Children and Pole Dancing HERE. I supported pole dancing by kids under certain conditions.

Last week, this video started going around Facebook:

It is an eight-year-old girl from Russia busting out some pretty amazing pole moves.  I don't know why but it just didn't sit right with me.  I saw more and more postings around Facebook with people supporting this little girl.  Don't get me wrong...I don't knock the little girl, but I just don't know if I agree with her doing wavy legs and wearing a two piece.  I guess it might look like I'm flip flopping on the issue, but I don't know...I just think some of her moves are kinda overly-adult for a kid.

Anyway, here's the conversation posted on my FB wall.  I removed names to protect those who might not want to be included in my blog.  
Does it make me a terrible person that I'm not swooning all over the 8 year old pole dancer? Yes I get that she's doing amazing tricks. I get that it's pole fitness and not stripping. But she's still wearing a two piece and she's still only 8. I guess I'm the only one who isn't 100% on board. But I am at about 80%.

  • DC, DJ and 8 others like this.

    • CH - haha i agree with u...

    • DF - If everyone had the same opinion what a boring world it would be :)

    • Lori Lolorashel Myers - Good point! I guess I don't want to come off as belittling the girl or not respecting the artistic and fitness side of pole. But I don't know. I just have a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. I also don't agree with kid pageants either though. :)

    • MD - You, Lori. My head. Get. OUT!

    • DF - Lori on a thread of one of my past instructors that shared his vid there were strong comments against it. While I didn't agree with that poster I still appreciate that we aren't all going to feel the same about anything. Like the battle of Olympics or no Olympics. Shoes or no shoes. Sexy or fitness. We are a diverse group and string opinion. The instructor I was talking about Tammy Morris went on The Talk to talk about the classes she offers to kids and for the most part they were very negative. AND all the comments on the net regarding the episode had many opposing the kids on classes. I support it as long as the sexual element isn't present.

      Long story short pole is evolving to include more members... Some will like. Some will not. :). Having said all that her talent is amazing in one years time. I wish!

    • Lori Lolorashel Myers - If you want to teach pole to kids, just call it Chinese pole. ;-) Look, I'm IN the industry and struggling with this one so I can only imagine how those on the outside are reacting. I like and respect Tammy. I need to find that interview.
    • SK - Uh, I think this is a very interesting discussion! I normally don't agree with kids doing pole either, but this girl makes me rethink that believe system. I, myself, like to dance pole and make it a bit to the sexy/sensual side - and that is obviously not for children. But if we can find a way to let children do it without the sexualization, it would be really, really cool - for the children and for the community as a whole. It would help make pole a lot more acceptable in the mainstream - if that is something to wish for is another discussion, fact just is that we all oftentimes struggle with the stripper-naughty-stigma (Please note that I am not trying to belittle strippers!). I argue that this routine is no different from the type of moves that you would see children do at gymnastics, figure skating or other kinds of dancing... But I posted it to my wall and some people came with great insights: What about the music? Is that a part of the sexualization (one could argue that that is no different from any other type of dancing?)? What happens when she gets bored at 13-14 because she knows every move in the book? Will she then make it sexy just to keep moving forward? I hadn't thought about the two-piece, Lori... I think it is ok, because it is more or less like a sports bra (covering a lot). It would not have been ok, if it had looked like a bikini top from my point of view... OH, this is very hard!!! What say all the mothers?

    • Lori Lolorashel Myers - Maybe I'm just jealous the kid can dance better than me. lol

    • RR - I don't like it. I am totally scared for her shoulders. Things like twisty grip aren't good for (all/some) adults, let alone growing bones!

    • SK - Me too, Lori!!! ;-)
    • SK - Good point, RR!
    • SSB - I was just going to say what Robyn did...all the TG work she was doing isn't good for growing bones and maturing joints. I will NOT be letting my own 8 year old be doing that particular grip. She's quite amazing though, I have to admit.

    • RJ - With you 100%! Post last week from a noted performer relating to all the calls she had been getting from Moms wanting their young ones to learn sensual movement.... Ballet is always a great place to start:)

    • SM - as a mom, i don't see anything wrong with what this particular child did. i do agree with RR on the shoulders thing, only because of the types of grips and such. I taught children's fitness for a while and had to be very careful. there are certain things you do not want to do on growing bones and muscle. BUT, this is true in gymnastics also, kids are being pushed beyond what their bodies should. As for the two piece, it's not like she was in a triangle top and thong. she was wearing more than MOST little girls bikinis! AND, this is uniform, I would be scared if she were wearing a one piece, as we always say, the more skin, the better and SAFER! however, i HAVE seen videos of kids doing VERY sexual moves with NO POLE around. that is not ok. not one of her moves was sexual in any way. it she was "booty up" and slinky wavy type movements, then yea, i'd have a problem with it. i have several videos of my kids doing "acrobatics". here's another perspective, a little girl on AGT did silks and it was "amazing" as everyone said, but do those same moves on a pole and it's "scandalous" hypocrisy at it's finest

    • Lori Lolorashel Myers - I heard about the silks girl but never saw her video. I will have to find that.

    • SM - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOq6mHyIRFo

      Amazing Little Girl Does Aerial Silks Better Than An Adult. On America's Got Talent
    • EE - As a mother of a toddler girl, (and not terribly familiar with pole dancing), I think it's the 2-piece that troubles me. Why does an 8 year old need to display that much skin, especially while doing what she clearly considers a sport? Gymnasts do equally amazing body contortions while wearing a 1-piece.

    • RC - What is you saw a video of her on the parallel bars?
    • SK - EE: You need the skin on your stomach/side waist to hold on to the pole! Some of the tricks are far more difficult (and more unsafe) without it...
    • SM - EE, for safety. you NEED that skin around your torso to stick to the pole. as i said in my previous post, i would be scared if she had a one piece. she is using her torso to stick, not for contortion sake. if gymnast (which she obviously is) needed that part of their body, it would be exposed also
    • SM - also, when my kids are on my pole. the rule is short shorts and no top for my boys and a tank that is pulled up to expose torso for my daughter

    • Lori Lolorashel Myers - SK: I agree about skin which brings me back to: should an 8 year old do this?? :-/

    • JG - Not sure if it makes me a terrible person, but I think that she's quite amazing... and justified for wear a two-piece. Anyone that dances knows that you want as much skin exposed as possible to stick to the pole! Also, if you think about many other sports for young girls (gymnastics, snowboarding, etc), they're also quite tough on the body.
    • SK - ‎Lori: I honestly don't know how I feel about it right now... I would usually say NO! with exclamation and everything, but recently... I am not sure anymore...! I love this post!

    • Lori Lolorashel Myers - Me too! lol. And for those who haven't seen the video, here's the link: http://youtu.be/ZRA_BHIaeYk

      ‎[club1265528|megaPOLEs] Показательные выступления 26 мая 2012 года Санкт-Петербург http://vk.com/page-1265528_43691855

    • SM - tummy exposure is no different than thigh/arm exposure. it's not like she had a strip of bondage tape covering her nipples. i mean, my daughter wears a bikini, as did i as a young child. our torso's are too long for one pieces and we don't fit, so what are supposed to do, wear a tshirt, no way! HOWEVER, the bikini's i choose for my daughter are age appropriate, no low cut stuff or triangle tops. at what age do people feel the need to cover bellies? as an infant or toddler it's considered cute to see their belly, but not when they're 7-8-9-10?? then it becomes ok again??? just seems dumb. her top is FULL coverage! i believe her outfit even has extra material offering even more coverage!

    • Lori Lolorashel Myers - It's easy for me to sit back and judge. I don't have kids! :-)

    • SM - and then that standard is for girls only...boys are free to show their bellies...double standard much?

    • KL - I think pole can be appropriately taught as a circus art for kids just like aerial fabric, lyra, trapeze...

    • JJ - the kid didn't bother me : elite gymnasts, prima ballerinas, Olympic athletes pretty much ALL start serious training at a very young age. and do strenuous freaky things with their joints and bodies.... i was left feeling sad that i didn't have exposure to pole like that at a way earlier age...

    • Lori Lolorashel Myers - So I watched the silks video. And I feel kind of the same way. Silks require so much strength and those little muscles might be getting pushed too hard. However, I guess it depends...is she taking class once a week or is she practicing 7 days a week for competition? Once a week, no biggie in my book.
    • SM - sorry for the multiple posts lol....on another note. there are pervs EVERYWHERE. pervs are watching your kids on the playground, pervs are watching little girls and boys doing gymnastics, pervs are watching them all the time. they're all around. you just do what you can to protect your kids as much as possible. you can't keep them in a bubble for fear of pervy eyes

    • Lori Lolorashel Myers - oh yeah, I agree that you can't protect your kids from pervs regardless of where you are... That isn't even my issue. I just feel like, for an 8 year old to be THAT good, her parents might be pushing her a little hard.

    • JW - Here's where i piss people off As a father of 3 beautiful little girls ages 7.11 and 20 I am personally against ANY activity that sexualizes young girls whether it be hip hop dance, cheer, pole or whatever. I haven't seen the video nor do I wish to. I'm sure it's all perfectly innocent at this point but like it or not there is an inherent aspect to pole dancing regardless of intent of a sexual nature. I'm all for it for adults but in an age where it seems society has become tolerant of teen pregnancy and promiscuity I believe this activity is in appropriate for young girls. Btw, I'm not a prude nor a bible thumper and I have my faults. I'm far from the model parent but think about this child as a teenager at parties with her friends (keep in mind your teenage years and the stuff you did) and then think about the peer pressure for her to entertain the boys with her talent ? But all I can do is raise my children nobody else's and teach them my idea of morality which includes not passing judgement on others. This is just my opinion, take it or leave it.

    • SM - well, are they pushing or does she really want it? it's obvious she's a gymnast before. having kids, i can tell you they learn this stuff MUCH faster than we do! lol my middle son, at 5 yrs old, flagged the first time he tried. then as a 10 year old and my daughter 8, got this move the FIRST time they tried [video link removed by lolorashel to protect privacy] ...this gal (me) is quite jealous! however i HOPE her parents aren't pushing her, that's a horrible thing to do with any sport...

    • SM - oh and fyi, ballet used to be considered "scandalous!"

    • JJ - well -- how many people believed the world was flat till Christopher Columbus sailed around it ? my point is, pole does NOT have to be inherently sexy. it is people who choose to put it in that pigeonhole, not the actual act itself.

    • DF - EE for some holds and moves we need the side and mid back to hold safely. Same as many monokinis provide. A one piece with middle side and back exposed.

    • SM - just realized i'm eating my own words on the clothing thing in my kids video lol...but that was just that once lol..i was practicing that particular move and they wanted to try, so i was under them when i taught them .... ooopsies lol

    • DF - Haha my post on skin a little late lol

    • JJ - besides which -- haven't you guys seen 8 year olds in 2-piece swim suits ? she's not 'baring her midriff' to be an exhibitionist !

    • AMS - I think she is amazingly talented. However, I'm still very uneasy about kids participating like that. I have 3 kids, all of them can pole. but they do it for fun and only in my studio or living room. I still won't teach anyone under the age of 18 other than my own children. But that's my personal choice and what I am comfortable with. As far as the moves she's doing being hard on the joints, I have to say what someone else did, it's not any harder on the joints of a child than gymnastics, ballet and ice skating are, all of which I was doing at that age and before and way after. So I guess I'm on the fence on this one just as much as I am in regards to being an Olympic Sport. So many pro's and con's. She is very very talented, not diminishing that at all. Just really uneasy about children in general doing pole.

    • JJ - i'm totally fine with children doing athletic pole, whatever level they choose. however, my own studio only accepts women 18 and older : i would be totally lambasted if i even dared TRY to have a younger's class !!!!

    • SJ - she has some great tricks, on a spinning pole, especially her Ayesha. static is her undoing, she needs to learn how to control spins on a static and how not to throw herself to get momentum. This doesn't mean she's not incredible but is what i saw as an instructor that detracted from her performance.
So, tell me what you think....kids and pole dancing.  Sure, we can make it completely non-sexual like gymnastics.  And doing pole dancing in general is separate from putting kids into competitions of any sort.  Am I the only one who just gets a bad feeling even though I'm not completely sure why??


  1. Pole dancing is growing fast and we are seing the changement. There is less sexy movement, no heels at the championship and more gymnasts are aproaching this new sport. This mean that pole dancing is going to change radically and become a gymnastic discipline. This is the only way to structure it and hope to have it included in Olympics games.

    1. I really do need to start wrapping my head around the upcoming split...pole dance versus pole fitness. Shoes versus no shoes. Possibly not okay for kids versus okay for kids. My issue with kids is NOT just about the sexiness, though. It's also about pushing little kids into situations they aren't ready for but that happens in other pageants all the time. I have notes for a post about the difference between the types of dance...and still have your post to put up about the Olympics. Will be good timing...I just need to find the time to pull my thoughts together and write it out!