Criminals (parents and instructors alike)!
– The classes where children as young as THREE learn to pole dance (Daily Mail, June 13, 2011):
To the tiny students at this dance studio, the moves are totally innocent.
In fact, they are being instructed in the sleazy art of pole dancing. And their age? As young as three.
Child protection groups yesterday labelled these images from the classes ‘deeply disturbing’.
Parents pay £5 an hour for their daughters to learn pole dancing at the Little Spinners classes.
Instructor Carly Wilford insists it helps youngsters keep fit and boosts their self-esteem.
Up to eight girls attend the weekly classes at the Make Me Fabulous dance studio in Northampton.
The revelation comes a week after it emerged that a beauty parlour is offering make-overs and facials for children as young as one.
Trendy Monkeys in Brentwood, Essex, caters only for the under-13s. It offers to transform children with face masks, new hairstyles and lipgloss.
The pole dancing lessons take place in a room decorated with pink feather boas and sparkling mirrors. They are advertised on a website which also promotes adult lessons, features pictures of lingerie-clad women and describes pole dances as ‘sexy, relaxing and invigorating’.
The children, aged three to seven, learn moves including holding their legs in a V-shape while sliding down the pole.
One mother, who took her three and five-year-old daughters to the classes, said: ‘The girls love it. But it is not a wise idea to announce at school that you let your children pole dance.’
Kidscape director Claude Knights said: ‘Exposing children to pole dancing at such a young age carries a great risk.
‘The children will innocently enjoy copying the raunchy moves they learn, but be completely unaware of the sexual messages these send out which inevitably can have dangerous results.
‘It is of course very important for children to take exercise and group activities, but why would you package it as pole dancing, something which has overt sexual connotations?
‘We need to allow children to be children. The people who started these classes and the parents who take their kids to them need to ask themselves hard questions.’
Private school educated Miss Wilford, 30, from Islington in North London, said she started the classes six months ago because of demand from the children of mothers she teaches to pole dance.
She said: ‘They wanted to join in because it is such fun. There is nothing sexual about it. I am trying to remove the stigma from pole dancing and show that it actually helps children keep fit and learn balance, much like gym classes. Nothing has meaning apart from the meaning someone attaches to it.’
She said pole dancing originated from a traditional Indian sport called Malkhamb in which gymnasts, including many children, performed around a wooden pole. She added: ‘I’m not a scumbag.’
The Government-backed Bailey Report, compiled by Mothers’ Union chief executive Reg Bailey and released last week, called for new measures to protect children, including controlling access to clothing, adult content on mobile phones and some advertising.