Firstly I must apologise for the lack of blogging! As you can imagine the run up to the local elections are keeping me busy (click here for my political blog) and I have had no internet access at home which has limited me further. Anyway since I spoke to you last I encountered a problem that has really upset me.
For those of you who have ever tried to organise a pole dancing event for charity you may have experienced similar problems to me; I do understand that some people still have a negative view of modern fitness pole dancing and they are entitled to their opinion, however I was gobsmacked to hear that St Luke's Hospice whom I have worked with on several occasions in the past declined the offer of our charity on the grounds that they were worried about what there older fund raisers may think about pole dancing. Bear in mind that the art of dance performed at the St Luke's Xmas Disco before Xmas giving up our Thursday night and hiring a van to take our outdoor stage to the venue. Having worked with St Luke's before I expected them to understand the nature of what we do and not have an issue with us performing in public to raise money for what I believe to be a very worth while charity.
In response to St Luke's concerns over their 'older members' perhaps they should bear in mind that I have worked with the Women's Institute and Watch Ashore groups and have had ladies up the age of 93 pole dancing. I have performed at the Women's Health fair for the past 3 years and have seen women of all ages having a go at pole dancing with a very positive response. The Watch Ashore group were so impressed with the art of dance they have asked us to headline at their 2011 National conference.
The other concern that came from St Luke's is that we were dancing outdoors in front of member's of the public? We were dancing in front of members of the public at the Xmas disco (see picture below) so I really can't see the issue there?
What makes the whole situation worse is that St Luke's work closely with the Plymouth calendar girls whose calendar is aimed at the male gaze with lingerie shots and stocking clad girls? How can this sit comfortably with the charity yet our gymnastic pole dancing does not?
I know that it is not just me that has had issues finding a charity to work with and the NSPDS event experienced similar problems when they tried to get a charity, ironically they now have the support of St Luke's Hospice!!!
Despite my concerns I would hate to think that people might read this blog and decide not to donate money for charity, that would be the last thing I would want as St Luke's do an amazing job looking after those with terminal cancers. What I would hope is that in the future charities like St Luke's could be a little bit more open minded when they make decisions on who they work with. The whole sage left me feeling very upset as I work so hard to try to make fitness pole dancing acceptable and to get people to realise that pole dancing is not the same as lap dancing.
This blog does have a happy ending as we have been given the support of wonderful local charity called the Drake Foundation who do some truly amazing work within the city so it is a real pleasure to have them on board. I am really looking forward to working on our planned pole dancing event that will have a truly athletic feel to it and will not be for the faint hearted - Watch this space!!!