It was 2013 and I had just returned back to Tenerife after my time in bonny Scotland. It was around this time that Poling for Kids was a new topic doing the rounds on the online communities.
Whilst in Scotland a couple of sensationalised news stories had made the news headlines. One focused on a British school in Kent that had a student perform a gymnastic type routine on a pole at a school fête. This got misrepresented and scandalised as totally disgraceful by a reporter who was trying to make a name for himself even if it meant trampling over someone else to do it. Such was the spin on the article that it created the controversy he was obviously keen to inflame. There were two camps, those for and against. Simultaneously, there was an online scenario in which a group of enthusiasts were innocently posting pictures of their kids on poles.
The fact is that only a weird misfit could interpret any of the moves as being provocative or salacious. The organiser was trolled by finger pointing witch hunters who accused her of all sorts of deviancy including being a paedophile enabler. Really, some people have such illiberal minds I would be surprised if they visited art galleries. There they could be offended by seeing Victorian artworks illustrating naked children bathing.
What was pole dancing seen through the eyes of an innocent child? It was simply a more demanding and sophisticated form of climbing frames than could be found in any urban playground. Ironically, pole dancing is more appropriate to children than it is for adults because of their suppleness and agility. As soon as kids see a pole they are drawn to it like a moth to a flame. They see it’s potential more quickly than does an adult. A child’s first instinct is to ape monkey life and shin up the pole, swing from it and generally show off. The best proof was seeing my own son’s appreciation of a pole’s potential.
During a family visit in which we were joined by my niece and nephew, the pair pestered me to be able to use the pole. They were begging me to show them a few challenges. I did so, which caused neither me nor the two children any problem at all. I suppose if people see ugly they will spout ugly. I was abused after I posted a video of one of my pole routines on YouTube.
During the video, and in the corner of a reflection in a mirror, you can see my mum in the room holding my son whilst they watch me. He was around one-year old at the time. The matter was of no consequence. In truth, such was the triviality of it I never even noticed it. I was made aware of it only when some idiot commented: ‘How disgusting it was that someone had allowed a baby into a strip club’. There was very recently, in the last couple of weeks a video/picture of a mother holding her child whist spinning round her pole in her own home. This again made the headlines an overly negative manner and received onslaught on facebook. My own son has been drawn to the pole ever since he could crawl and is forever wanting to pull himself up and swing round it. In my own personal view I think so-called child beauty pageants are far more irresponsible in having small children mimic a certain type of adult in dress, cosmetics and behaviour.
You only need to Watch 11-year old, Olga Trifonova’s videos to see why how amazing and talented kids can be when on a pole. This talented athlete who won the hearts of millions went on to win Russia’s Got Talent. It is a pity some muckrakers and sleazy reporters cannot demonstrate a similar talent in doing what they do. Times have moved on. I know many many youngsters who have gravitated towards pole school. Obviously not all pole classes have the same content, and yes those that are geared more towards the ‘Pole Dance’ side of the spectrum may not be appropriate. As with everything, some amount of sensibility is needed. There is now however a variety of official courses specifically aimed at for children’s pole fitness and Gymnastics. (Eg Vertical Dance Kids Pole instructor training)
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