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POLE DANCE FOR KIDS or why I as pole dance world champion don't want to see my daughter in this sport

POLE DANCE FOR KIDS or why I as pole dance world champion don't want to see my daughter in this sport

Pole dance for kids or why I as pole dance world champion don't want to see my daughter in this sport

Eight out of ten people ask me if my daughter is going to do pole dancing. Eight out of eight are really taken aback when I say "no". I can understand that. I have multiple world titles in this sport, present the best pole companies, have workshops around the world and seem happy. More than that - my wife was my first and only pole dance teacher and we have our pole dance school together. But still it's a no.

And I will tell you why. It's not because pole dance is dangerous for little kids. Half of my career I was working with children. I taught them gymnastics, break dancing and hip hop. And I can assure you - pole dance is as safe for any kid as is any other kind of sport or dance. Of course, there is possibility of injuries. But that's life. Ballet, ballroom dancing, soccer - all of them can harm your body. So just choose a good coach and a good school for your kid, and nothing bad will ever happen. Also it's not true that pole dance can effect normal development of back - both bones and muscles. Quite opposite - it will make your child strong, flexible and well coordinated.

It's not because I am afraid she won't like it. Kids adore pole dance. It's in their nature to climb up, roll over and spin around. When we were little we climbed trees, fences, rooftops, and I am pretty sure that is so much more dangerous than climbing up the pole under supervision of professional coach and with few crash mats for their little butts.

It's not because I think it's inappropriate. It can be, though. As can be ballroom dancing or even folk ones. Make up, showy dresses, vulgar moves - all this attracts a wrong kind of people. But coaches with no taste and weird perception of world around them teach all dance styles. So again - with a good coach it will be a sport, a dance, acrobatics, a show, but never anything that will make you blush.

So why I don't want my daughter to be a pole dancer? Because it's too hard. I can't understand how these little girls carry the enormous burden of everybody judging them, giving awful comments, throwing stupid accusations. I don't understand why nothing is done about that on the level of different pole dance federations and organizations? It's not enough to write on forums and Facebook. If somebody changed your comments on TV or makes accusing statements about children that you teach or your children that do pole dance - sue them. We have to protect these little heros in any way we can.

You want to see pole dance in Olympics? Do you think I can get the right image for the commitee? Or Oona? Or Felix, Marion, Natasha... Who? I can tell you. Our only hope for Olympic future at the moment is Olga Trifonova. She is young, she was doing pole dance since she was 8 and half years old, and her abilities are beyond human. Why do we watch Olympics? Because people that participate there do something an average human NEVER can do. They train right after they start walking and they are selected among hundreds and thousands of the best. Each one of them has a real talent and is working for the whole life. Like Olga.

Many people believe she was doing gymnastics before, but it's not true. And if you find her first videos on YouTube you'll see how she was progressing. She came to the Trash pole dance studio where her aunt was taking classes in 2011. Ola says she begged to sign her up since she was 6, but nobody took her seriously. Finally she started learning. She trained every day for several hours with endless energy and enthusiasm, and coaches understood - there was a miracle happening. In 2013, only after a year and a half she became the World champion in London. They showed her on BBC news, her video on YouTube was definitely the most talked about with thousands and thousands hits over the night. But what credit did it give her? A trip to London is extremely expansive, there is no money prize on most competitions, and unlike us, grown up pole dancers, Olga can't earn by teaching workshops. She still studies at school, you know. Children like her are gifted. But unlike other realms of dance, studies, sport, pole dance still doesn't attract many sponsors. Especially if you deal with such controversial issue as pole dancers who are under 16. If she was doing gymnastics or figure skating she would already have several scholarships, be on the covers of the magazines, promoting hair shampoos and stylish clothes for teens (Olga is also very beautiful, by the way).
I just don't understand where she takes strength and power, and most of all - courage, to continue what she is doing. She had no fear when she went to Russian version of "Got Talent." Even though Russia is one of the most conservative and, let's be honest, judgmental countries in Europe. But she is too sincere, too talented. She won. People voted her the best in Russia - an 11 years old pole dancer.

By the way, about talent shows and children. This is the worst part. I would never let my daughter go there. Children, especially gifted ones, are too vulnerable, they need special care and attention. But nobody cares about them on TV. All they need are ratings. And little girl on pole will make good ones. But not only that. A year ago a little girl with her mother came to my school in Kiev. They were getting ready for castings in Ukraine's got talent. The girl was talented, but even younger than Olga. The castings took place in winter and it was very cold. They kept poles outside and after they installed them, she was the first to perform. She touched the poles and said to her mother they were too cold, any grip was impossible. Her mother asked organizers to give them five minutes to warm them at least a little bit. Producers screamed they were on tight schedule and she needed to start. The girl slided down from the first trick she tried to do, cried and ran backstage. And never came back on stage again.

Olga says that after "Got talent" she received thousands of letters from children, who were inspired by her, who wanted to be like her. She is such a positive role model, always open and smiling. And it's up to us not to let her go. Not to loose her to other sport or dance that is easier for shallow people around to understand. We need to help Olga, children like her, by sponsoring them, explaining their talent, fighting the accusers, in social media, in real life, in courts. What we do now - making pole dance popular, creating tricks, establishing rules, we do it for them. So that it can be easier for them to take it higher, to the level of Olympics, to the level beyond human.

Because, honestly, I don't want my daughter to do pole dance. But for some reason, I am sure she will.

Last modified onWednesday, 05 November 2014 12:34


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