Toddler Pole Dancing: Bring It On!

Julie Ryan Evans
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pole dancingThere are a lot of things that frighten me about raising a girl in this day and age, but toddlers pole dancing? Meh. 

Jezebel has a slideshow up of some pictures from Pole Spin magazine that show families who embrace pole dancing as a way of life, including 2-year-old Kayne Benford. His first word was "pole" and the magazine has dubbed him the "World's Youngest Pole Dancer." Of course, the outrage has ensued, which is I'm sure what the magazine wanted, but still, why such passion against the pole?

I have a 2-year-old daughter, and I would absolutely let her pole dance. In fact, I pole danced regularly as a child, even though I grew up in pretty much the strictest Catholic household in the universe.

The poles in the unfinished basement were actually the feature that made me beg my parents to buy the house that was the fantasy of my first-grade dreams. They have long since been remodeled over, but there were a good number of years in which those poles served me well. I spent hours roller skating around them, using them for gymnastics maneuvers, and yes, even dancing around them. I had no idea that dancing around a pole was "pole dancing." And neither should any 2-year-old.

Why should a perfectly innocent object like a pole be ruled out for exercise just because a few strippers choose to incorporate them into their routines? That's giving the seedy entertainment industry a little too much power, don't you think? The pole is just a prop -- think may poles instead of strip joints. In some parts of the world, pole dancing is a sport. Are we going to rule out chairs because of lap dancing?

In today's society, anything can be sexualized, and most of it is. Dance is particularly ripe with suggestive movements and explicit music to be had, and those are things I'll try to protect my daughter from as long as I can.

Pole dancing is a great workout, and if used for purposes of exercise or as an innocent prop for dancing, then sure I'd let my daughter do it. I might not call it pole dancing, and I'd monitor her movements and costumes like I would with any form of dance, but a pole really shouldn't be that ... polarizing.

Would you let your child pole dance?


Image via lululemon athletica/Flickr

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