Picture above of Elena Gibson, Lorna Thomas, Kate Johnstone, Me (front), Genevieve Moody, Nikki and Dana Mayer at the Pole Dancing School studio in London. Friday 11th February.
The chances are that if you are reading my blog then you already know all about the benefits of pole dancing as a way to keep fit. Unfortunately you may still be in the minority of people who don't have their heads stuck in the sand when it comes to fitness pole dancing.
After the South Devon College fiasco I thought I had seen the last media frenzy over the teaching of pole dancing to members of the public but it seems that I was wrong.
The funny thing is this blog is meant to be about how pleased I am to have secured a tender with Plymouth City Council's Sports Development Unit to provide subsidised pole dancing lessons to the public in an effort to get more people back into fitness. I had been approached by the Plymouth City Council Development unit who were in the process of buying lots of different sporting activities to then subsidise and sell back to the public. Here is the fabulous list of sporting activities available from the scheme.
Having secured the tender I was about to blog about this important step forward for the art of dance and for the wider fitness pole dancing industry but at 7am on Friday morning I received a phone call from Radio Devon who were chasing up a story about people being unhappy with the council's move to pay me for lessons. It seems that people have added things up without checking their mathematical skills first!
With all the cuts to frontline services suddenly I am in the firing line for taking money away from essential services. Radio Devon had tried to contact the council to get a comment but apparently they had refused. I jumped at the chance to go on air and defend myself and my business. I explained to presenter Justin Leigh that the tiny amount being given to me for the lessons (I charged the council less than the normal lesson rate) would save the NHS a huge amount long term as I would be boosting the physical and mental health of all those I worked with and hopefully those individuals would be motivated to continue a more healthy lifestyle long term as a result of my classes.
The art of dance already works in line with the Governments Change for Life initiative to encourage people to have more healthy lifestyles.
In April it will be 7 years since I started teaching pole dancing as a fitness and I honestly thought things would have moved further forward by now in terms of peoples attitudes to my art. It is ironic that I write this as I return from the Equity pole dancers working party where we have just been discussing how much the industry has progressed within the last 5 years.
See picture below of EPDWP members at the Equity HQ, Friday 11th February - Kate Johnstone (Spin City), Stacey Sneddon (Vertical Leisure), Dana Mayer (Rock 'n' Roll Pole), Lorna Thomas (Pole Athletes), Genevieve Moody (Strictly Pole Dancing), Miss Glory Pearl, Elena Gibson (Pole Dancing School).
Anyway, I now wait to see what the next stage will be with my subsidised classes ad also wonder how the hell the public will react when I start my new i-pole classes next month, these classes will be teaching 12-16 years old to pole dance. No doubt, once again, I will be demoted to Satan's apprentice until the ignorant find something more interesting to gossip about.
Thanks to the fabulous team at Plymouth City Council's Sports Development Unit for being educated about modern fitness pole dancing and for having the courage to work with the art of dance, the team have made the decision based on what is best for their client group rather than worrying about those who will jump on the anti-pole dancing bandwagon. If you are lucky enough to live in Plymouth and you fancy trying some subsidised exercise classes just visit the sports development unit website for a full list of the great activities available.
n.b. if you happen to be one of the ignorant and you are reading this wondering why I am teaching pole dancing and what possible fitness benefits it can have simply go the PDC approved pole dance school finder and find a school near to you and go along and see what they actually do and maybe even try it! You may be surprised.