Who has never heard of pole dancing! Unfortunately, the impressions we have are tarnished by all the sleaze that is associated with it, but take away the sleaze and what you have is a very acrobatic, athletic art form. It is this attitude to pole dancing that we want to focus on.
If you can’t imagine good, clean pole dancing, picture a gymnast on the balance beam, then take away the beam and replace it with a vertical pole. There you have it!
In our kids’ pole dancing class, we focus on teaching the tricks and the technique and since it can get quite technical, we try to incorporate dance moves into the program as well, it is a more holistic approach this way.
Any child, even as young as four years, can have a go at pole dancing. Parents who are afraid to commit their child to a dance that is not exactly main stream can take advantage of the trial sessions offered by some professional dancer held four times a year during the term breaks. But, honestly, which child wouldn’t like hanging from and spinning around a pole?
Don’t worry if your child does not have the prerequisites because there are none. No background in dance is required, nor upper body strength as commonly believed. This is built over time. Some dancing class will divide into two groups— the four- to six-year-olds and the seven- to 12-year-olds. Parents are expected to accompany the younger children (yes, parents get to do it too!), but this is not necessary for the older kids.
It is not really difficult because the kids are taught tricks according to their capability. That is why they are divided according to their age groups; their development, capabilities and attention spans differ. That also explains why classes for the younger kids are 45 minutes each while those for the older kids are at an hour each.
In the case of pole dancing, there are only two levels — beginner and intermediate — but that is because the program is still relatively new. Each year comprises four terms and each term, nine weeks. Terms 1 and 3 are performance terms where the focus is on showcasing what the kids have learn in the last nine weeks, while terms 2 and 4 are technique terms that end with assessments.
As a form of exercise, pole dancing is great for strength and muscle building. It tones every part of the body, keeping it strong and lithe. It does not build bulk because you are using just the right muscles.
As a dance or art form, pole dancing helps develop flexibility, balance, agility and grace.
The showcases at the end of the performance terms will give every child an opportunity to demonstrate what he has learn and to be part of a combined effort. Of course, some kids might be shy and may refuse to participate but every child is encouraged to take part because the experience is priceless. Not only will he learn about teamwork and cooperation, but also the sense of pride and achievement he derives from having been a part of a successful show can do wonders to his confidence and self-esteem.