Children as young as twelve are being offered pole dancing lessons at a dance school in Devon.
A local MP hit out at the classes saying children should not be “parading as if in some kind of strip club”.
But Sam Remmer who runs the classes defended them saying there was a “big difference” between fitness pole dancing and exotic dancing.
Gary Streeter, Conservative MP for South West Devon, said lessons need to be treated with a “great deal of caution”.
He said: “We have a real problem in our country with the increasing sexualisation of children through the media, advertising, branding of products and this kind of thing would be a step in the wrong direction.”
The classes began yesterday for children aged 12–15 at The Art of Dance pole dance & burlesque school in Plymouth, Devon.
The website states that “children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for at least their first session”.
But a spokesperson for the Mothers’ Union charity, said: “Whilst the pole dancing lessons do require parental attendance to start with, we are concerned that children are being targeted with an activity that, by and large, is part of a male club culture which objectifies women”.
“It is naive to suggest that any young person joining such a class will be unaware of the intention of pole dancing.”
A major Government-backed review into child sexualisation and commercialisation will be released this month, with early results showing that parents are concerned children are being forced to grow up too quickly.
In March parents hit out at a computer game, which includes the option of a “flirty strip-tease”.
The controversial “sexy” computer game will not be sold in America, but children will be allowed to buy it here in the UK.
An advert on the internet for the game, called We Dare, shows two couples in a series of sexually suggestive situations.
In 2006 supermarket giant Tesco was forced to remove a pole dancing kit from the toys and games section of its website after being accused of “destroying children’s innocence”.