A pole dancing class for girls as young as six has parents speaking out about against the sexualization of children in Britain.
A weekend club in Cheshire refers to the class as “gymnastics,” but parents say LaKiTa Dance Academy’s website features a young girl pole dancing to a sexually explicit Nicki Minaj song.
Parents who want to ban the classes say teaching girls to pole dance sexualizes them, leaving them “vulnerable to exploitation.”
Dance teacher Lauren Kenealy, 26, argues that the class is a form of “fitness” and is “not sexual.”
The 2012 video below, which is featured on the school's website, shows a 6-year-old LaKita student named Hollie Nevols dancing to "Pound The Alarm."
Netmums founder Siobhan Freegard told the Daily Mail that the classes are “shocking.”
“Pole dancing is a skill and for an adult it can be a brilliant and fun way to keep fit,” Freegard said. “But it’s simply not something we should be encouraging infant and junior kids to do.
“Young children don’t understand the sexual overtones of the moves and copying them could leave them very vulnerable to exploitation,” she explained. “UK schoolgirls are already facing unprecedented pressures at a very young age. They need time to still be children, not be force to be overly body-conscious.”
“It is just like gymnastics but using a different piece of apparatus," Kenealy argued. "It's got nothing to do with being sexual.
“To say it's sexualization of children — that's totally not true. The kids just want to be monkeys,” she told The Sun.
Freegard said there are other ways to get kids to exercise and there’s no reason they should have to do it in makeup and spandex shorts.
“If it’s exercise you’re after just let kids run races on the school playground or sports field in normal shorts and a T-shirt,” Freegard argued.
“While the Pole Dancing Academies claim it’s nothing more than healthy exercise, why then do they need to dress up seven-year-olds in skimpy outfits and a full face of make-up, or let four-year-olds in reception class parade around a pole?” she asked.