Pole Dancing Aged 3: Welcome to Little Spinners

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Posted by: Sue Atkins

I am talking on LBC Radio today at 2pm about this article in The People

GIRLS aged THREE are being offered pole dancing lessons, a People investigation found.

The £5-an-hour Little Spinners classes teach strip club-style routines to kids barely old enough to talk.

They are described by organisers as a great way to help your children to use their bodies, move, balance and be free in a fun environment.

But child protection charity Kidscape criticised them for promoting sexually precocious behaviour in toddlers.

Director Claude Knights said: This is deeply disturbing. Exposing children to pole dancing at such a young age is a huge risk.

These classes are drawing children into a kind of copycat raunchiness while they are far too young to grasp the sexual connotations.

We discovered the classes, held at the Make Me Fabulous dance studio in Northampton, in the week a Government report blasted the growing sexualisation of children.

An ad for Little Spinners on the venues website sits alongside a promotion for its adult classes, which describes pole dance as sexy, relaxing and invigorating.

Girls are taught provocative moves like the open side V where the dancer holds her legs in a V-shape while sliding down the pole.

Already on slide: youngsters do the open side V

Mum Emma Baglee, who watched as her daughters of three and five took part, admitted: The girls love it. But it is not a wise idea to announce at school that you let your children pole dance.

Cheryl Hawes, who took her six-year-old, said: She always goes into school with bruises from hitting the poles.

She tells them she got them at Little Spinners, and her teacher thinks its a gym class. I haven’t corrected her because it is not the kind of thing you want to admit to. The one-hour class, run by studio owner and TV presenter Carly Wilford, 30, is held in a room decorated with pink feather boas and sparkling mirrors.

As it begins, we see four girls aged three, five, six and 10 warm up with a quick game of stick in the mud before moving to their poles.

Instructor Carly who also teaches at Louie Spences Pineapple Dance Studios demonstrates a sexy strut as pupils watch and copy her, flicking their hair as they circle the poles.

Journey hit Don’t Stop Believin blasts out as Carly invites each girl to choose a move for the class to practise.

One, aged five, chooses the open side V before rushing over to her mum to take a sip of a Capri-Sun.

When they master the moves Carly claps enthusiastically, while parents shout Well Done and Good Girl. Emma said: Outside this class my five-year-old is really shy, but this really brings out her personality.

The Make Me Fabulous website, which is decorated with shots of lingerie-clad women, claims the Little Spinners class is suitable for any child under 16.

The ad reads: Yes! Were doing it for the kids! Help your children to use their bodies, move, balance and be free.

But Kidscapes Claude Knights said: Our great concern is that the girls will grow up thinking overtly sexual behaviour is normal. They might enjoy copying the moves, but they are completely unaware of the messages sent out.

If these girls are moving {provocatively in classes, they will use what they have learn’t outside. They might try it in the playground and teach other kids.

The parents need to ask themselves serious questions. Instructor Carly, who will soon appear in a new pole fitness series on Sky’s Body in Balance TV, said she started Little Spinners after adults who came to her classes asked if they could bring their children because they were already using poles at home.

She told The People: I have always been aware of how I teach, the music I use and the way I demonstrate moves.

Nothing has anything sexual. The only sexy bits of pole dancing are the wriggling and grinding, and when you strip those away and bring it to the basics it is just spinning and climbing. Pole dancing is brilliant for self-esteem.

When we spoke to mum Emma yesterday, she told us: Its not pole dancing as you and I would call it, far from it. It gets my daughters running around. Its energetic and fun. I’ve known Carly for years and she is trying to move the stigma away from pole dancing.

Its great for fitness, I tried it and was in agony afterwards. It encourages the girls to enjoy themselves and have a bit of fun with other girls.

This week a report by Mothers Union chief executive Reg Bailey, carried out with the backing of David Cameron, called for an end to the wallpaper of sexual images that surrounds children.

Its recommendations included curbs on kids clothing, restraints on overtly sexual music and the removal of raunchy billboard posters near schools.

Mr Bailey said: Society has become increasingly full of sexualised imagery. Parents feel there is no escape.

Asked by The People about Little Spinners, the Department for Education said: Parents need to think hard about whether it is appropriate for their children to be taking part in these classes.

Reg Baileys review was clear that parents want their children to be protected from the pressure to grow up too quickly or become sexualised adults. The Government shares these concerns.

Read the article here

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