Opinion Brief

Pole dancing... for toddlers?

A dance studio in England is offering pole-dancing classes for children as young as 3, inciting an outcry — and calls for government intervention

The video: Forget Botox for 8-year-olds or push-up bras for 12-year-olds. A dance studio in the British midlands is offering pole-dancing classes for children as young as 3. In the "Little Spinners" class at the Make Me Fabulous Dance Studio in Northhampton, little girls are taught to spin around, climb up, and slide down the pole with their legs open in a V-shape. (Watch a British news report below.) The class' instructor, Carly Wilford, insists there's "nothing sexual about it," and says she's "trying to remove the stigma from pole dancing and show that it actually helps children keep fit and learn balance, much like gym classes." Outraged child advocates are urging the government to step in and help protect the innocence of the younger set. 

The reaction: "I'm all for movement and dance class for little girls," says Meredith Carroll at Babble. "but teaching them to be sex objects before they're in kindergarten should be criminal." Yeah, if this is really about fitness and self esteem, why doesn't the instructor just give it a different name, like, say "Circus Camp," says Amy Graff at Momformation. "Marketing it as a pole-dancing class is what makes it inappropriate." True, this is "horrifying," says Mollie Hemingway at Mommyish. It even manages to turn "Chris Rock's whole 'keep your daughter off the pole' bit on its head." Watch a British morning show's report on the class, below:

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