Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How Young is Too Young for Pole-Dancing Workouts?

Source: The Montreal Gazette (Summary by NIM)

There is no question that physical activity is essential for youth, and that, for the most part, kids are full of energy! Childhood obesity is a growing epidemic, and the push for Canadian kids to get moving has never been stronger. But some teens and tweens are turning to 'alternative' forms of exercise to burn calories and stay in shape, and this has some parents raising their eyebrows.

Pole-dancing fitness classes have been all the rage for the past few years - women just love them, and men love the fact that women are enrolled in them! (Here in Toronto, Flirty Girl Fitness is number one.) Women get a crazy workout plus they get to learn some sexy moves and work on their seduction skills at the same time. The problem is, what if girls - not women - want to give these classes a go? That's exactly what's happening in British Columbia at Tantra Fitness.

Instead of summer camp, softball or soccer, girls as young as just seven are learning to "get up on the pole and try to pull their legs over their head", according to one instructor. The club is getting a lot of flak for teaching kids moves like this, but the owners and instructors swear that kids that young have no sexual association with the pole - its all just fun and a wonderful workout. They say that even the seven-year-olds have "rockin' abs".

Feminist writer Jessica Wakeman understands clearly that the kids are not being taught to be future exotic dancers, but something still isn't right. "I clearly understand that we're not talking about a pole-dancing class for kids; it's an exercise class on a pole,...but there are cultural messages here that people need to be honest about." I completely agree.

Read more at the Montreal Gazette in the article called "Pole-dancing for tweens raises concerns"