Standing on shaky ground, a pole dancing studio owner has elected to defend her “Mommy and Me” pole dancing class amid significant backlash.
The Atlanta-based studio seemed surprised that social media responded negatively to video of children pole dancing — labeling the Mommy and Me workshop as inappropriate.
Dance studio owner Tiajuana “Tia” Harris told PEOPLE: “The inspiration for our mommy and me pole fitness class stemmed from us looking to promote a unique bonding experience between mothers and their children while emphasizing fitness, strength, and confidence in a playful and supportive environment.”
The now-viral video of the Mommy and Me class from Pink Poles Studio features young children dancing alongside adults to the tune of “Take Me There” from the 1998 “Rugrats” movie.
According to Fox News, children aged 4-14 shared in the pole dancing class.
This incident follows a story of Michigan sixth graders being filmed “pole dancing at a strip club” as part of a school field trip in November. Amazingly, when Andrew Weaver, a school board trustee and parent of three, spoke out against the incident, the Rochester superintendent threatened the trustee with legal action,
Harris claims the studio’s pole dancing class for children has received a “positive reception” locally. Many on social media dispute that claim.
Harris told PEOPLE: “This positive feedback not only highlights a potential demand for such offerings but also underscores the community’s appreciation for the inclusive and engaging nature of these fitness sessions, fostering a supportive environment for both mothers and children to explore fitness, strength, and confidence together.”
Several responded to the video by stating, “This should be illegal.”
Responding to the profound backlash on social media, Harris wrote on her studio website:
“The age-old adage insists that ‘Kids should be kids.’ At Pink Dance and Aerial Studio, the kids are doing just that – being KIDS! Back in the day, before iPads became babysitters, we relished carefree moments—swinging, hanging upside down from the monkey bars, climbing, and sliding down pole climbs and parallel bars at the playground.”
Harris added that the pole dancing class for children is an opportunity for “kids [to get] some physical activity.”
“They’re swinging, sliding and flipping on a pole, under the guidance of a trained children’s gymnast instructor (as a bunch of moms and peers cheer them on in the background!),” Harris’ website reads.
Harris dismissed suggestions that her pole dancing for children’s class has negative associations, stating that “POLE FITNESS IS NOT STRIPPING” and arguing that pole dancing isn’t done for financial gain.
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