Wednesday, 26 December 2012

More Prejudice against Pole dancing.

For those of you who have not read my previous posts I have finally got round to responding to my exclusion from the Plymouth Dance website.  I was deeply insulted by the suggestion that my classes are in direct conflict with Plymouth Dance's child protection policy and I needed to address my concerns. Today I sent this to Clare Crannock, chair of Plymouth Dance:
Dear Clare,

Apologies for the time it has taken me to respond to your e-mail sent on 12th November 2012. I would now like to respond to some of the points you raised.

"Our ethical decision to exclude promotion of these classes is to protect children and that decision is fully at our discretion."

I am still unsure as to how you can call your extreme prejudice towards my art ethical and I will go on to detail why I do not accept that either my website or my classes conflict with your child protection policy?

"I am afraid that I find it difficult to argue that pole dancing is not linked to dance in a sexual sense at all, when I have a knowledge of the history and background of this dance form. I also note in the history section of your website there is a direct web link to the Windmill Club, we do not feel it is appropriate to promote a link to this venue, that children and young people may have access to. I have additional concerns that your website also promotes the hire of striptease acts (which I am sure are very discrete and tasteful), however these pages are also accessible to children and young people and demonstrate the close relationship between pole dancing and other forms of professional striptease acts."

I have never stated that pole dancing does not have links to the lap dancing industry, and I am sure you are fully aware that most dance forms have a sexual origin yet you seem happy to promote them, you regularly promote belly dancing, morris dancing and salsa which have clear historic links to sex and fertility so I fail to understand what makes my dance genre so different.  It is also clear on my website that our burlesque and chair dancing classes are strictly for over 18's.

Yes, I agree there is one link to a strip club on my website which clearly states it is a historical link and nothing more. Any child logging onto the internet and accessing my website is unlikely to be coaxed into the adult entertainment industry and I am sure most children access for more extreme content on a daily basis by merely watching TV and music videos.

If you feel so strongly that you want to protect children then why have you considered the following activities to be appropriate to promote and endorse:

On the 30th November 2012 you sent a bulk e-mail to promote Purestar Promotions whom according to the flyer teach 8 year old's how to dance like the stars of MTV, Purestar claim to have worked with Madonna, J-Lo and Kylie. Surely most parents would not want to encourage their 8 year old's to dance like any of the artists promoted on MTV and I would argue that this sort of mainstream activity is far more damaging to today's children than any class I have ever offered.

Also if you want to exclude the promotion of any group with has adult content or links then I suggest you stop promoting anything to do with the Theatre Royal; On the day you decided to exclude me from your website the Theatre Royal had the following content displayed within its pages "Peccadillo Circus - Directed by Leisa Rea Drum Theatre -

Revealing the fetishes and naughtiest secrets of real people in their own words, acclaimed character comedian and actress Lizzie Roper delves into the nation’s views on sex. Characters as varied as an adulterous accountant and an internet sex addict inhabit the stage in this brilliant one-woman show, which wowed audiences and critics alike at the Edinburgh festival, and enjoyed a sell-out run in the West End earlier this year.

I still believe that your vague arguments merely highlight your own personal prejudice and I find it extremely insulting that a company that  seeks to, and I quote direct from your website, "facilitate and co-ordinate the delivery of an innovative and dynamic programme of dance......joins up the existing dots to celebrate the variety of dance in the city"" would feel it appropriate to distance itself from, in my opinion, one of the most exciting and athletic new dance forms of our time.

Of course you are not the first person to show extreme prejudice and ignorance towards fitness pole dancing and the following article is just one example of the problems that myself and other pole dancing instructors face on a daily basis.

In response to your comments about my 'inappropriate logo' which is barely visible to the naked eye again I return to your promotion of Purestar entertainments, if it is OK for kids to dance like Madonna or Kylie then they will probably want to dress like Madonna or Kylie? If you had researched my classes you would understand that the minimum outfit required for my fitness pole dancing is shorts and a crop top and the kids classes I carried out last year involved children wearing tracksuits (or similar attire).

Apologies if this e-mail comes across as rude but I consider it to be an appropriate response to your original, crudely argued e-mail which has not only caused myself, my team of instructors and my students great insult but has also reinforced my belief that you are merely prejudiced towards a specific art from to which you have no real knowledge.

I do not wish to change my website as I do not feel that will alter your perception and you will merely find another way to dismiss the hard work that I do. I am one of the few dance genres in Plymouth that does not receive any form of funding (this is due to the fact that I have received the same prejudice from Companies house, South Asian Society, Plymouth Soroptomists and Plymouth City Council to name but a few). I work with many individuals (men, women and children) to promote physical and mental well-being and I can quote many success stories from students who have gained the confidence to positively improve their lives as a direct result of my classes.

I will be forwarding my concerns to the Arts Council who fund you as you are clearly not fulfilling your objectives and are blatantly excluding a minority group.

Sam Remmer

I will let you know what response I get!

Stay Healthy,

Sam x

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