In recent years, pole dancing has moved out of seedy dancing clubs into the gym – as women take it up as an exercise regime.
But now ‘pole fitness’ classes are being offered to children – and the reaction to girls as young as 8 dancing on This Morning tells us it makes more than a few people feel uncomfortable.
Hosts Rylan Clark and Ruth Langsford presented the feature on children’s pole dancing classes and invited 8-year-old Tilly-May and Timea and 11-year-old Mia to dance on a pole in the studio while their mums and instructor Zoe Hardy looked on.
And then wearing black shorts and white shirts tied up to resemble crop tops the girls performed a series of pole dancing moves.
Tilly’s mum defended her decision to let her daughter take part – and said it’s improved her self-confidence.
“Tilly was bullied at school for being fat and not interested in what the other girls did,” her mum said and explained that it’s the only fitness class her daughter has taken to.
“It’s fitness, when you see what they physically do, there’s nothing provocative,” she added, while Mia’s mum compared pole fitness to competitive gymnastics.
But guest child psychologist Emma Kenny slammed kiddie pole dancing saying it was “horrendous” and sexualises children.
“I don’t doubt for one minute that the girls keep fit. And I also don’t doubt that the moves we’ve just seen are pole dancing rather than pole fitness,” she said.
“I think we are in a culture that sexualises children…and whatever way you look at it, it’s inextricably linked to sexualisation.”
Meanwhile, viewers of the show on Twitter had very mixed reactions…