Children: To Pole or not to Pole?

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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*Photos have been used with Parents permission.

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New year, new reasons to try Pole classes… step outside the box!

I hope the majority of those reading this book will already be seriously interested in pole dancing, or at least be contemplating taking this dance-fitness lifestyle up. It could be that many if not most readers are already involved in this fascinating fun-filled and challenging modus vivendi.
There are so many advantages to taking up pole dancing. Use it or lose it, the human body needs to be agile for all its working parts to function in harmony. If you have a weight problem you will find your weight quickly drops as surplus weight is averse to pole dancing. Actually, I say ‘weight’, generally it’s more of a ‘body mass reduction’ you will see, as you’re body changes shape, less fat, more muscle. These advantages boost self-confidence. You will not become an egotist but you will find that your self esteem hits new peaks. Activities that were once an effort become far less demanding. You not only feel better, you look better. This new you radiates outwards and impress others. When going about your everyday tasks you will find you are better physically and mentally balanced. As well as a variety of other side effect benefits, Increased flexibility, strength, stamina, and generally a better, more lean and defined body shape.
You will be far better tuned to your immediate environment. The new you earns new friends, keep old ones, and makes life far more exhilarating.
Moving on, I want to explain the effects pole dancing or more importantly teaching the routine has had on me. Cast your minds back to when you first learnt to invert. Otherwise, picture the move that you have been working towards perfection for ages. Out of the blue you get it just the way you dreamed of doing. This is the ultimate ‘I DID IT!’ moment. It is then you get the tingling sensation, the adrenalin rush that creates that unmissable buzz. You experience a sense of achievement that is so memorable that it never totally drains away.
Let me assure you, your ecstasy radiates through me too and I share it because I have been there and I know exactly how you feel. I feel it because it is my achievement too. The delight on my students’ faces at the moment of truth is priceless to me. Given a little time I also get to see the transformation that comes over people. I get a rush too from witnessing success that I have partnered. This is just another reason why I love doing what I do and I’m sure other instructors can back me up on this. Over the years I have seen, felt and experienced the changes in students as they go from novice to blazing glory. I have seen students lose weight, watched as the body changes to a glowing radiance. I am often approached by shy, reserved girls who would never say or do anything to offend.
I have celebrated each girl’s restoration of her self-esteem. Such is the renewed confidence they have in themselves that, instead of being fearful or apprehensive about public displays of their skill, they welcome the opportunity to show off. Friendships to make and keep are much easier and much more natural. You don’t make a friend, you become one. The pole dancing lifestyle changes people for the better. I have heard and read on the various social media groups so many inspirational pole tales, how this vertical metal bar has helped girls out of depressions, gotten them over phobias, even helped fight battles against eating disorders. Other stories, such as that of Urban Poleist Danny Charge, who I will mention again later, where exercising on the pole acted as physiotherapy after a severe climbing accident left him near paralysed. If you have any such tales, feel free to post them to me, I always love to hear about them.
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Hello and welcome to the best Pole book ever!

Whenever I mention the phrase ‘Pole Dancing’ in most people’s minds it automatically conjours up images of naked girls in seedy nightclubs.
But the reality is so much different to what people think. I have been running studios teaching Pole fitness around the world for 8years now and been in the industry for over 15 and it has many different sides that so unseen by so many out there, hence why this year I finally published my very own book, ‘So I Hear you’re a Pole dancer?’. Part biography, part Pole handbook. In it I cover everything from my Leeds roots, to Life on the Spanish island of Tenerife, and the growth of the Pole industry. I also cover a lot of topics such as, Men in Pole, Children in Pole, the arguments between Pole sports and Pole dance, Poling in Pregnancy, Plus much more. The ups and the downs so to speak.
When I first started to take note of my experiences and achievements I had in mind to do a blog, people continuously asked me how I got into the industry. In time I found I had more than enough material to write a full book and so with the help of my amazing editor, I decided to take the plunge. It’s been available for purchase since the end of November and so far the response has been overwhelming. The feedback and reviews have been great and it’s currently in the top 10% selling books on Amazon. Although my original target market were people within the industry I have been surprised with the response from the general public. Even my boyfriend’s grandmother raved about it after she read it.
I hope that it will help to educate people about this amazing art form that is still so misunderstood and also to show that anything is possible if you want it enough. Everyone is capable of so much more than they realise.
‘So I hear you’re a Pole dancer?’ Is available as a paperback or kindle download from any Amazon site, and be sure to find me on any of the usual social media to let me know what you thought of it.

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