Pole Dancing vs Pole Fitness

Pole Dancing vs Pole Fitness

There’s been this big hullabaloo in the news lately about some school in Canada offering pole dancing classes for kids. I wasn’t going to comment because I thought it was a really silly thing to get worked up about but… a week later and it hasn’t gone away.

I’ve taken pole dancing classes. They are a total blast. So the big question is: Would I put my kids in pole dancing classes?

It depends on the instructor. I could sit here and try and explain it to you, but I really need a visual aid for this one. Watch the video below and I think you’ll understand. The girl in the green outfit could easily teach children. The girl in red should definitely teach adults. They are both insanely flexible and strong as hell. They are both seriously amazing to watch and induce many open mouthed expressions of awe. But they are very different in their styles.

Cirque du Soleil has a professional pole dancing champion on their cast and I saw a Cirque Eloize show that incorporated a pole dancing routine with a man and a woman. You can catch a glimpse of the man’s portion at about 1:08.

What do you think? Is there a difference or is pole dancing just plain dirty? Is the issue what adults project onto it?

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8 thoughts on “Pole Dancing vs Pole Fitness

  1. I took bellydance for years, and while I agree with you that pole dancing isn’t awful to teach to kids, it just seems like maybe that’s not a battle worth fighting? I know that around here, taking pole dance fitness classes has gotten really popular, but I think part of the appeal might still be because it’s a bit risque. I’m guessing those who stick with it love it for the fitness and the thrill of being able to push your body to complete those difficult moves. But in terms of what to teach kids in school, they *could* just stick with teaching the kids ballet/gymnastics/step dancing/kickboxing to give the kids a good, fun workout, but not raise as many objections.
    But then, no one in my belly dancing classes said I was too young to do it, and I could certainly see my high school having some kind of school-sanctioned belly dance club… I’m guessing when you say “offering” classes, it’s not required, but it’s an elective or something? Sounds like something the teacher might want to offer in town, either after-hours if the school building is available, or in a different venue (and for additional charge, rather than the school paying for the classes.)

    I think the biggest problem is how, like you say, the green girl is appropriate, the red is not, (to teach kids) but the kids themselves taking the class could behave toward either end of the spectrum.

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  2. I’ve seen some incredible pole dancing. It’s a beautiful, athletic art like aerial gymnastics. I’m aware that pole dancing isn’t just pasties and $5 tips, but still, when I hear “pole dancing” that’s the first thing I think of. So IF I had a female child I would be very leery of her taking a class labelled as “pole dancing.” But I also hope that my hypothetical female child and I are able to discuss things like why she’d want to take the class and that I’d respect her enough to listen to her argument and make a rational decision. Kellen’s comments about bellydance are interesting because I’ve heard it classified as a sexy sex dance and also as an empowering women-in-general fat-women-specifically thing. So I think that’s a overly-sexualized woman’s-physical-movement thing that’s moving away from being overly-sexualized and it’s interesting to see if pole dancing (perhaps under a different name?) will also make that move.

    Tangentially related, I ran across a graphic once, written/created by a stripper and illustrated by an artist, that was called something like “stripper anatomy” and pointed out all the common places strippers collected bruises, sprains, burst blood vessels, callouses, etc. Pole dancing is REALLY hard on the body.

    Reply
    • Yeah I think pole acrobatics or pole fitness would be better if targeting kids. And yes I think it could lose it’s risque association somewhat if it continues to be pushed out of the strip bars and into the mainstream. Things are shocking when you don’t see them all the time.
      The bruises you get from that stuff SUCK. I thankfully didn’t get too many bad ones but I saw some on the other girls. Ouch.

      Reply
    • Yeah I think pole acrobatics or pole fitness would be better if targeting kids. And yes I think it could lose it’s risque association somewhat if it continues to be pushed out of the strip bars and into the mainstream. Things are shocking when you don’t see them all the time.
      The bruises you get from that stuff SUCK. I thankfully didn’t get too many bad ones but I saw some on the other girls. Ouch.
      P.S. You nailed it about having the conversation with the child. That’s key.

      Reply
  3. Oh, I’m definitely going to put my daughter in classes! She has to want to do it and ask me though. I don’t want to push anything on her.
    I agree that the issue is the adults who say it’s sexualizing children. Kids who take pole class do not think of it as acting sexy, they think of it as having a lot of fun! Like gymnastics! Anyone who sees a child on a pole and claims they are acting sexually has something seriously, seriously wrong with them.

    Reply

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