Dance studio teaches pole dancing to children as young as five
DUNCAN, British Columbia, September 7, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) - A dance studio owner in British Columbia is offering training in pole dancing “basics” in her “Little Spinners” classes to young girls. Students enrolled so far include girls as young as five and one boy.
Kristy Craig, owner of the Twisted Grip Dance and Fitness Studio in the town of Duncan, said she instituted the classes due to demand from her adult pole dancing clients.
“My existing students were asking about it for their children. They were saying, ‘My daughter plays on my pole at home all the time, I’d love her to actually learn how to do things property and not hurt herself,’” said Craig.
Craig is attempting to dismiss the sexual aspect of pole dancing by insisting it’s just good exercise for the youngsters.
“I treat it just like gymnastic classes…I don’t teach any of the adult moves,” she told Postmedia.
However, according to a CTV report, Craig said she will teach moves similar to those given the adults in classes such as “Sexy Flexy, Pole Fit, Babes on Bikes, and Bunny Bootcamp.”
“[The kids’ class has] some of the same moves, some of them are different, but yeah it’s very similar,” Craig told CTV. “There’s definitely movements in [the adult classes] that are sexual, but there’s nothing geared toward stripping.”
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Attempting to distance her pole dancing classes for tots from the raunchy strip club variety, Craig said the activity should be seen as akin to a sport, since there are “competitions” where participants are not allowed to remove any clothing and can’t even wear high heels.
“For competitions, they actually have rules and regulations that there can be nothing sexual, or any article of clothing removed—and in some you aren’t allowed to wear high heels,” she said. “The sexuality is being taken out of it. It’s highlighting the gymnastic, athletic and circus acrobatics aspect,” Craig said.
One commenter on the story observed that, “As long as there are pole dancers stripping for money in ‘gentlemen’s clubs’ it cannot be considered a sport.” Another quipped, “you mean in some ‘sport’ competitions you are allowed to wear high heals?”
The Canadian Pole Fitness Association’s website announcement of the “Canadian Pole Fitness Championships,” which will be held in Vancouver in October, states that there will be two shows at the event: the Early Show for “amateurs” and the Evening Show for “professionals.”
Vancouver psychologist Dr. Derek Swain pointed out that teaching pole dancing to little girls could lead them to enter the sex industry later in their lives.
“There would be that potential and that is something of concern, because we know that people in the adult industry are out recruiting in colleges and universities, as well as attempting to recruit in high schools. That temptation would certainly be there, and for someone who already has those skills it would be an easy transition,” he told bc.ctvnews.
Last week British Columbia’s advanced education minister sent out warnings that strip bars in British Columbia may start recruiting college girls as strippers in exchange for tuition.
Naomi Yamamoto said she sent out letters to post-secondary schools after she became aware that a strip club in Windsor, Ontario, was recruiting local girls, because changes in Canadian immigration laws, designed to curtail human trafficking, have made it difficult to import foreign girls as exotic dancers.
“Students, who often feel new stresses due to new living environments and managing their own affairs for the first time, may be tempted by these monetary inducements,” Yamamoto wrote, according to the Ottawa Citizen.
She also expressed concern over a statement made by a spokesman for the Adult Entertainment Association of Canada that local adult entertainment businesses may be looking for potential employees at public high schools.
“What we’re not doing is telling students they can’t pursue job opportunities or career opportunities in the adult entertainment business. We’re saying we just don’t want them aggressively recruiting on our campuses,” Yamamoto said.