Monday, 1 August 2011

Pole ‘dancing’ for 7 year olds: Is it right or wrong? Pole Passion comments

Pole dancing or ' Pole fitness' as it is alternatively more commonly known by thousands of followers, has come under the spot light again, recently in the worldwide media, with children as young as 7 years old taking up the sport and having their achievements posted onto Facebook.
All children's photos should be protected, with their parents or guardians giving their consent to publically displaying their photos It is the instructors responsibility to gain this written agreement and we are proud to inform all our trainee instructors of these legal and ethical obligations to minors.

Many people have criticised the act of posting children on social networks and websites and feel this is inappropriate, which if portrayed wrongly we totally agree with. However pole fitness has come so far away from its original UK roots in the strips clubs and has become a fun, effective and harmless form of challenging and progressive exercise regimes, using the vertical pole as the fitness equipment tool.

Many argue that the lessons are encouraging young girls to enter in to a world of sexuality and objectification. These stigmas are becoming an outdated stigma as more and more successful dance and fitness schools are beginning and opening across the world teaching pole dance and fitness techniques Many people feel and believe that because pole dancing, lap & striptease originated in strip clubs and gentleman’s clubs, they feel it is inappropriate to teach to children but ‘pole dancing & fitness techniques’ has evolved dramatically since it’s accreditation status in 2008 as an approved and accredited form of exercise .

Some may still be shocked that business women do it, mothers do it, policewomen and event lawyers and doctors are doing it!! Men are also emerging as pole fitness enthusiasts, impressed by their female partners growing strength and renewed confidence. So naturally the children of those responsible adults are going to want to do it too - after all it is so much FUN !!

Currently many pole fitness lessons take place in specially designed studios for exercise professionalism and safety as well as in gym settings (thanks to the development of the free standing RPole which can be put anywhere with ease allowing gyms to hold lessons in their dance studios amongst other more conventional sports and exercise classes such as Bums n Tums, Step aerobics and Boxercise

You can also now gain professional accreditation in the sport by becoming a qualified instructor, recognised by the Register of Exercise Professionals. Supported by Government approved Skills Active, Created by the leading UK pole fitness training provider Pole Passion

Another argument against children doing pole fitness is ‘how it looks online’.
Photos and videos should not be taken by anyone without the prior consent of the parent or guardian - The same as with any sport conducted at a school sports day event for example, this means that if photos or video did appear online then it is most likely to be a direct result of the parent uploading it (as many do when their child takes part in a dance performance, football game or martial arts grading).

So the question should really be, ‘Is Pole Fitness good exercise for children? ‘
So what is the difference between pole dance and pole fitness?
Pole fitness wording seems to be more acceptable than the words Pole Dancing, however despite the obvious wording differences where pole fitness maybe more socially accepted due to the preconceived miss conceptions of those to the words of pole dancing - the latter is choreographed rhythmic movements set to music, whereas pole fitness may incorporate choreography combining routines, with its focus also on power strength & conditioning, incorporating tricks and spins & and gymnastic style combinations, challenging the whole body - usually with music used as a background as opposed to the rhythm of the dance !

The content taught in pole fitness is suitable for any age, obviously children have shorter concentration spans and this must be taken into consideration when structuring sessions, working with each participants capabilities and flexibility focusing specifically on body posture and correct body alignment whilst working on progressive stretches and flexibility to maintain and encourage a healthy well-being and body, mentally and of course physically but like any form of exercise aimed at children, there are many guidelines that should be adhered too.

Pole Passion created a Code of Pole Practice in 2008 to support the Newly developing Pole Industry to support and represent and guide instructors and students, Recommendations include professional standards, ethics, personal responsibilities, and rights, dignity and worth of every student and instructor.

Trained & qualified experienced instructors should be at the forefront of children's lessons. If a dance school naturally wishes to broaden its repertoire of dance styles
Instructors should be CRB CRIMINAL RECORDS BUREAU checked and registered with their local authority (as with anyone working with young children),
Parents must sign their health & safety exercise disclaimer
Instructors should be first aid qualified supporting their participants in the unlikely but possibility of any accidents
Fully insured to teach children as their young bodies require a different set of warm-ups and movements to that of a fully matured body

Most importantly they must have the mindset and aptitude with the greatest of patience to reach and progressively support minors.

Pole fitness is designed to be form of exercise akin to gymnastics (similar to the bar work commonly seen in the Olympics but on a vertical angle rather than the horizontal) With the grace one might find in a classically trained dancer (just as in ballet as the current World Sport & Fitness Champion is British born, Felix Cane, age 27, who found her way into the sport recommended by her mother, is actually a classically trained ballet dancer finding the pole art her main area of expertise now).

Many young girls are sent to ballet classes whilst others may be sent to gymnastic lessons. So what is the problem with combining the two in to a fun, effective and NEW healthy form of exercise?

Chinese pole which dates back hundreds of years, is taught to children as young as 5 or 6 and the principle of the exercise is the same, apart from the design of the thicker poles- so could this mean the social culture of our non supporters? Chinese poles are held up slightly differently to that of the majority of the poles used for pole fitness and they also have a coating of a tacky substances which enables additional grip, allowing moves to be executed in jeans and jumpers rather than the fitness poles made of metal which require some of the more advanced moves to be completed in shorts and t-shirts. The skin is required to support the body on the pole safely and therefore being one of the main reasons why many participants wear crop tops and short shorts.

At national and international levels the competitors are also judged on their costumes too making it a fabulous spectators sport - many competitors in fact wear more than say a competitor in a volley ball team!!

Currently Pole Passion, one of the UK’s leading pole fitness training provider (offering officially the highest REP’s accreditation in the world ) have been following the policy of teaching 16's and over since pole fitness was created here in the UK in 2001. This age specification was lowered in 2008 from age 18 requested by the gyms that were currently supporting and teaching Pole Fitness sessions, in line with the age policy for other gym equipment and age restrictions.

No plans have been made to lower it any further at present. Kay Penney founder of Miss Pole Dance UK National Championship in 2005, World Pole Dance in 2009 & Pole Passion Ltd In 2001 commented, 'As a mother of 3 young children I have always been mindful of societies confused and sometimes incorrect pre-conceived notions of pole dance and fitness, which can be blurred by lack of published information. The reason why the very first National UK championships was set up was foremost to educate the public; men and ladies about the pure power, strength and determination these athletes require to do what they do - Gone have the days of just slinking around poles in people's front rooms and gentleman’s clubs only for the titillation of others. Pole Dancing & Fitness has evolved and techniques modified and changed so it can be accepted and taught professionally in gym establishments to that of all ages & is totally different than ' Lap dancing & stripping techniques ' that still many get confused by today’.

In an average pole fit class, with a qualified & specialist fitness professional and instructor, will include a warm up section, which is required usually off the pole equipment, and in many classes these represents a warm up & cool down section similar to any aerobics class, warming the muscles and joints in preparation of safe exercise. The class incorporates stretching, conditioning, toning and exhilarating fun like no other exercise class can provide, with an amazing fun and social element to it too.

So the conclusion being, yes pole fitness is positive for those individuals who choose this unique, challenging and new form of exercise and dance. As with all other forms of exercise and sport the parents will be required to consent their siblings chosen sport and have an obligation to portray this sport professionally, ethically and sensibly too.
Parents should be looking for the correct qualified instructors with qualifications as listed above and of course a positive mental attitude to train hard and sensibly to perhaps one day support their students to represent their country in their chosen sport of pole fitness too.

We welcome & congratulate all who dare to be different, who do see and feel the benefits of pole exercise, who have not been tainted by inaccuracies of those who have been wrongly advised those who have a passion in their heart to succeed at doing something out of the ordinary, who are Focusing on their child's well being and health allowing their children healthy choice and fun balance in their life .

A special thanks to Rpole fitness equipment with their professional and fun range of poles which now allow pole in the open air, on the beach and in the parks with no ceiling fixtures and safe integral mats - exactly where children should be seen - rather than the unhealthy option in front of TV and computer screens playing their modern alternative of only brain active computer games !!

Our motto - Empowerment Confidence Fitness & FUN!

Train to be a professional National and international Pole Fitness Instructor and gain the recognition you and your chosen sport well deserves - Call Stephanie on 01293 888200 or email her on

1 comment:

Blogger said...

I have just installed iStripper, and now I can watch the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.