Should Children Pole Dance?
I know I’m a little bit late on the mark, but over the past few weeks there has been a major debate, aired on ITV, about kids taking part in pole fitness classes. Of course, the TV station received phone calls from people expressing how disgusting they think that it is, but on the other hand there were those that could see no harm in it whatsoever. Although I don’t teach pole dance to children I know that they are in absolutely no danger for having attended a pole fitness class. Depending on the teacher, a pole class is set out much like a gymnastics session or a regular dance class. You do the warm up, the main part of the class, either working on tricks or a routine, and then you stretch and cool down. There is nothing particularly sexual about a pole dance class unless you are specifically seeking to attend a class that requires the wearing heels and a g string.
I don’t disagree that movement can look sexual, however, there are contemporary dance, hip hop and lyrical dances that show very similar movement. Furthermore, a lot of people complain about the splits in pole dance because the legs are wide open. How can this be a bad thing when gymnasts in the Olympics and young dancers on the TV are all doing split jumps, kicks and V shapes with their legs all the time. I don’t see why the inclusion of a pole makes it as seedy as people are making out. Especially when the pole dancing kids are wearing the same, if not more clothing than what dance is common in general dance competitions. See clips below for a comparison.
Any style of dance can be choreographed in a specific way so that it looks innocent or provocative. It has nothing to do with the dance style itself. You only have to look at the two clips above to see that. Also, I understand that people have their set ways of thinking and that there are numerous perceptions on pole dancing because of how a person first heard about it, but times change and I think we have to see if from the point of view of the child and why he or she wants to attend the class. This is more than likely going to be because it is fun and because it offers a challenge and a sense of achievement. If young people enjoy it and are not forced into it then there is no harm.
What do you think?