Girls as young as three are being taught pole dancing, it has been revealed.
Make Me Fabulous dance studio’s website says of its Little Spinners pole dance classes: “Yes! We’re doing it for the kids!”
But child protection group Kidscape yesterday labelled the classes “deeply disturbing”.
Kidscape director Claude Knights warned they were another indication of the growing sexualisation of children, saying: “Exposing children to pole dancing at such a young age carries a great risk.
“The children will innocently enjoy copying the raunchy moves they learn, but be completely unaware of the sexual messages these send out which inevitably can have dangerous results”, she added.
“We need to allow children to be children. The people who started these classes and the parents who take their kids to them need to ask themselves hard questions.”
Parents pay £5 an hour for their daughters to learn pole dancing at the Little Spinners classes, whose instructor Carly Wilford insists it helps youngsters keep fit and boosts their self-esteem.
Up to eight girls attend the weekly classes at the Make Me Fabulous dance studio in Northampton, in a room decorated with pink feather boas and sparkling mirrors.
The classes are advertised on the studio’s website, which also promotes adult lessons, features pictures of lingerie-clad women and describes pole dancing as “sexy, relaxing and invigorating”.
“Not a wise idea”
The children, who can start as young as three, learn moves including holding their legs in a V-shape while sliding down a pole.
One mother, who took her three and five-year-old daughters to the classes, said that her girls loved it.
“But it is not a wise idea to announce at school that you let your children pole dance”, she added.
Miss Wilford, 30, said she started running the classes six months ago because of demand from the children of mothers she teaches to pole dance.
She said: “They wanted to join in because it is such fun. There is nothing sexual about it”.
But a Government-backed review, led by Mothers’ Union chief executive Reg Bailey, called last week for new measures to protect children from sexualisation.