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Pole Dancing Tweens

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What ever happened to good ol’ ballet class?

This weekend, The Stir blogged about Tantra Fitness, a workout studio based in Canada that currently offers pole dancing classes and private lessons…to kids. As young as 5 years old.

"Kids love the pole,” studio owner Tammy Morris told the Ottawa Citizen. “If anything, it's hard to get them off it because they're such naturals." Morris says the focus of their pole dance instruction is fitness and technique, not stripping. Though the studio’s Exotic Dance and Lap Dance classes have strict age requirements, kids can sign up for the rest of Tantra’s classes as long as they have signed permission from a parent. Morris is even considering starting a Mommy and Me (!!!) pole dance class.

"Children have no (erotic) association with the pole whatsoever. Unless you teach someone how to grind and make reference to taking off your clothing, there's nothing wrong with it,” she told the newspaper, arguing that kids see poles at the playground or local fire station.  

(Just wondering: Aside from Chippendales dancers in bedazzled hot pants, when’s the last time you saw a fireman shimmy down a pole?)

While it’s possible that young girls will not know or understand the sexuality associated with pole dancing, do you really want your 7-year old showing off her new moves on the playground? And if the studio is touting these offerings as innocent exercise classes, then why are they called things like Bellylicious, Sexy Flexy, Pussycat Dawls, and Promiscuous Girls?

As open-minded as I try to be, I can’t get past my gut reaction that these classes are so, SO inappropriate for tweens -- let alone 5-year-olds.

What do you think: Is it really just exercise, or totally inappropriate?

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