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:
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
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
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
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.
I will let you know what response I get!