Fitness studio’s pole dancing classes for five-year-olds

A fitness studio is courting controversy  after introducing pole dancing lessons for children as young as five years  old.

The ‘Little Spinners’ sessions have been  added to the timetable at a Canadian fitness studio, alongside ‘Flexy Sexy’ and  ‘Babes on Bikes’ classes.

Instructor Kristy Craig has insisted the  classes are focused on fitness and that children are not taught any ‘sexual  moves’, but a child psychologist has warned that parents should be conscious of  pole dancing’s association with stripping and the sex industry.

Girls and boys aged between five and 12 have  already been enrolled in the controversial classes at the Twisted Grip Dance and  Fitness studio in Duncan, British Columbia.

Craig, a certified fitness and aerobics  instructor, said she introduced the classes in response to demand from her adult  clients.

‘My existing students were asking about it  for their children,’ she told the National Post.

‘They were saying: “My daughter plays on my  pole at home all the time. I’d love her to actually learn how to do things  properly and not hurt herself.”

‘They have no association with it or think  there is anything wrong or bad about it. That’s an adult putting that on them,’  she said.

The instructor said the classes were focused  on the gymnastic and circus acrobatic elements of pole dancing, and that girls  and boys attending the sessions were not taught ‘adult’ moves.

‘I treat it just like gymnastic classes,’ she  said, adding: ‘This is strictly about fitness.’

But child psychologist Derek Swain told CTV News he feared introducing young girls to pole  dancing could make them more likely to join the sex industry in later  life.

‘There would be that potential and that is  something of concern because we know that people in the adult industry are out  recruiting in colleges and universities, as well as attempting to recruit in  high schools.

‘That temptation would certainly be there,  and for someone who already has those skills it would be an easy transition,’ he  said.

A fitness studio in Bolton provoked an outcry  last year after introducing pole dancing lessons for children and then posting  pictures of the classes on Facebook.

Parents and councillors who deemed the junior  sessions at JLN Pole Fitness inappropriate raised concerns over the images being  published online, with one mother claiming it would encourage child  grooming.

But instructor Jess Leanne Norris said  photographs were only put on the website with parents’ consent, and that there  was ‘nothing inappropriate’ about the pole dancing classes.

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