If your young daughter wants to take a pole fitness class, you shouldn’t be too perturbed by it. As crazy as that may sound right now (especially for all the dads out there), parents in Britain and Australia are ditching more conventional hobbies like pony club and ballet and are instead getting their kids into pole fitness.
Now, naturally, there is quite a bit of outrage around this new trend. Many people believe it to be worrying and unethical. But it has become so popular that there are now moves within the industry for children-specific qualifications among pole dance teachers, and several hundred youngsters are estimated to attend pole fitness classes in these countries within the next year.
Modern society has given pole dance its stigma, just take a look at these facts:
- According to the International Pole Sport Fitness Association, pole dancing only became associated with strip clubs in the 20th century
- Attempts to reclaim pole dancing as a form of exercise and a sport are increasing exponentially in Europe and Australasia
- Chinese Pole is an acrobatic sport that has been around since the 11th century and has many similarities to pole fitness
- The International Pole Sports Federation is vying for pole sports to become part of the Olympic Games
- The traditional Indian sport, “Mallakhamba” is a gymnastic exercise which is performed around a vertical pole or a rope
- Pole Sports UK is also working towards gaining recognition by Sport England to be accredited as an official sport
What we’re trying to establish here, is that pole dance fitness isn’t just for adults, nor does it have to be synonymous with a controversial living. Modern culture has made it out to be this way.
Pole dancing classes for children have been defended by many following claims that it sexualises youngsters. It’s a fitness class, simple as that. Think about gymnastics for children – what’s the difference? Our perception.
So, let’s look at some of the benefits that this sport offers.
The health benefits
Even though it usually only manifests in adulthood, the atherosclerotic process of cardiovascular health can begin in childhood, and as you may already know, cardiovascular health impacts the risk of heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.
So, by enrolling your child into a pole fitness class, you could be helping them prevent heart disease later in their lives.
For ideal future health, children need to do at least one hour of physical activity a day. With pole fitness, all their muscles will be worked so that blood flows to all of them, making it a highly-effective cardiovascular workout.
Stronger joints and bones
When we get older, our bones lose mineral density, especially in women. The risk of women getting osteoporosis increases the older we get, so it’s very important that we keep our bones and joints healthy.
Pole fitness will strengthen the muscles, joints and connecting tissue in your daughters. In fact, pole fitness puts less stress on their joints in comparison to running or attending an aerobics class.
Additionally, it burns calories, increases flexibility, balance, and coordination. It also builds core muscle strength. This is all crucial for healthy adulthood.
It’s not sexual
Each class is intended to help kids learn and master challenging exercises which will get them into great physical shape. There is no sexy side to it, nor are there pictures or videos taken of them during class. Further to this, there are absolutely no routines. It’s purely a fitness and social based exercise class.
Polina Syniachenko, a doctor, athlete, dancer and high school teacher makes a valid point in saying, “this sport will give your child the opportunity to develop strength, flexibility, endurance, a sense of rhythm, but most importantly – it’s a great hobby that brings children fun, pleasure and develops their positive side. If you see a child on the pole and does it cause you any sexual thoughts, then the problem is not with pole sports or on the child – the problem is within you.”
It’s similar to gymnastics
There are many similarities between pole fitness and gymnastics. Pole and aerial fitness are an alternative and interesting way of expression. Borrowing many elements from gymnastics, there is no inappropriate dancing as it is more focused on modern, lyrical and contemporary dance styles. Pole is a lot like gymnastics because it takes a lot of courage and trust in one’s own ability.
Furthermore, many people who take up pole fitness end up becoming interested in other forms of exercise where they can utilise the strength they’ve built up through pole – activities such as aerial hoop, trapeze, ballet, break dancing, cheerleading and athletics.
In summary, pole fitness is a fantastic hobby for children as it will build self-assurance in your kid over time – especially for children that suffer from self-doubt. Why not let them try it? After all, it supports body positivity and self-belief which will boost their future selves.