Sometimes my kids drive me up the pole, but that doesn't mean I want to see them wind up ON the pole. Isn't that what parenting is about? Keeping your kids AWAY from pole dancing? One British Columbia dance instructor doesn't think so. Kristy Craig, who owns The Twisted Grip Dance and Fitness Studio started a pole dancing—excuse me, "vertical bar"—class for kids as young as 5. She's dubbed the class "Little Spinners." The demand, Kristy says, came from moms who took her class.
Kristy appeared on Anderson Cooper Live today, along with a couple of those moms, and mom.me was invited to blog and tweet from the audience. The women valiantly defended pole dancing as a legitimate sport and fitness pursuit while co-host Goldie Hawn—who admits she's swung around a few poles in her lifetime (clothed, of course)—tried not to gasp.
Pretty much every person in the audience—male and female—thought this was a bad idea. After all, as much as these women talked about removing the "stigma" from pole dancing, and how great it was for physical fitness, the fact is that even grown up women who take the class probably aren't doing it just for their abs. I mean, check out the promos for the adult version of the class.
Now, these moms could be spinning on a bike or stepping on those plastic steps, but no, they choose to glide up and down a pole. Why? It doesn't just make you fit. It feels sexy. And what mom doesn't want to feel a bit sexier? Good for them, I say.
I do not think the moms who send their children to these classes necessarily want to sexualize their kids. The moms on Anderson weren't any kind of Honey Boo Boo stage moms. And I chatted to the 4-year-old daughter of one of the moms and she was as sweet as pie, cuddling her sleepy toy like a 4-year-old should (in the wee hours of the morning when they tape morning shows!) But I do think that if pole dancing were really OK, there would have been some talk about boys getting into it too. (Fireman Pole classes, anyone?)
Really though, I think the solution is pretty simple. Keep the grown-up toys for the grown-ups and the kids' toys for the kids. Here's an idea for Kristy Craig: Add some more bars—including horizontals—and call it a monkey bar class instead. That's a class I would happily send my little orangutans to.