Canada
BC kids' pole-dancing class draws international scorn, mockery

A stripper performs a pole dance

Credits: REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

TYLER ORTON | QMI AGENCY

VANCOUVER - A Vancouver Island dance studio offering pole-dancing lessons to young girls has become the subject of international ridicule with everyone from Taiwanese animators to American news agencies weighing in.

On Tuesday, the Taipei-based Next Media Animation released a video depicting computer-generated kindergarteners prancing around a pole in a strip club as older men hoot and holler at them. The video went on to suggest the next step for the girls was prostitution.

The animators have previously gained international recognition for recreating sensational news events, such as the Tiger Woods sex scandal and Conan O'Brien-Jay Leno alleged feud.

Twisted Grip owner Kristy Craig told QMI Agency she's shocked by the amount of negative attention the story has received.

"It's nothing new," she said, noting pole-dancing competitions are already offered in Russia and the UK "People need to really look into it before jumping to any conclusions about what I'm offering."

Craig said her classes will emphasize gymnastics techniques, but she simply uses a vertical pole instead of parallel bars.

University of BC Okanagan professor Susan Hillock noted girls who take part in these classes could end up thinking their only self-value is through using their bodies.

"There are probably better exercise and sports options to lift a girl's self-esteem than pole-dancing."

Hillock expressed her concern about the over-sexualization of young girls who are feeling increased pressured from the media to look a certain way.

"It's no longer 17-year-old girls. It's seven-, eight- or six-year-olds worrying about their body image and talking about dieting."

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