A pole dance demonstration's prompted a wave of complaints after it was shown to school students. ITN: Staff had complained that after the first performance pupils were more interested in watching their mobile phone recordings than they were in their afternoon classes.
Row over school pole dancing demo
Updated 23.16 Thu Jan 29 2009
Keywords: pole dancing, students, demonstrations
A row has erupted at a further education college after a lunchtime pole dancing demonstration prompted a wave of complaints from teachers who branded it inappropriate for 14-year-old students.
Education bosses invited pole dancing company The Art of Dance to South Devon College in Paignton to give two demonstrations as part of their Be Healthy Week.
She was told staff had complained that after the first performance pupils were more interested in watching their mobile phone recordings than they were in their afternoon classesA packed crowd of around 1,000 teenage students, aged 14 to 19, watched the first display performed by company boss Sam Remmer in the main public area of the college.
Mrs Remmer said many of the teenagers recorded the performance on their mobile phones.
Returning to the college two days later for the second demonstration she was told to move inside the sports hall and away from the main public area as there had been "a number of complaints".
She was told staff had complained that after the first performance pupils were more interested in watching their mobile phone recordings than they were in their afternoon classes.
The college has refused to comment on the issue, but vice principal Pat Denham did say there was a "pole fitness demonstration but no pole dancing" and the college had received no "official" complaints.
Mrs Remmer said her agreement was that she would do the demonstration for free providing she could post videos of the event on the internet and use them as advertising.
She explained it was after putting the film on the video sharing website YouTube that the pressure from the college increased.
Mrs Remmer said: "I received an email from South Devon College asking me to remove the videos, I consented to removing the videos that had students in them as they had not signed any consent forms, but I refused to remove the videos filmed in the sports hall as they did not feature any students or references to the college.
"The college are trying to distance themselves from the display as much as possible. I was contacted by the vice principal who argued that I should not be making the event public."
She said unless people are educated in the differences between modern fitness pole dancing and lap dancing then "negative stereotypes will not go away".
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