LESLEY KEATING: Pole dancing’s not seedy – it’s vertical gymnastics

Lesley's delighted that pole dancing may soon be an Olympic sport                       Credit: PA
Lesley's delighted that pole dancing may soon be an Olympic sport Credit: PA
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I understand there is a possibility of pole dancing becoming an Olympic sport and also talk of how the technique could be featured as part of the school sports curriculum at some point.

It has already been given observer status by the Global Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF) – meaning it is now provisionally recognised as a sport. It’s only a matter of time.

I personally would have had no problem at all if my daughter had been given the option to learn this when she was at school.

Predictably, the easily offended of this world are making sucky lemon faces about how outrageous it is to teach children to shimmy up poles, making moves that are only seen in certain clubs.

‘What sort of mother would think this was a good idea’ they cry?

Well, me for one.

I personally would have had no problem at all if my daughter had been given the option to learn this when she was at school.

The combination of strength, elegance, endurance and grace needed would have been wonderful to learn. It’s as disciplined as ballet and, done properly, looks fantastic.

Furthermore, imagine the rock-hard core you’d develop!

I think the biggest problem is the name, pole dancing. Wouldn’t it be better to call it something with less connotation, such as vertical gymnastics?

That might placate those mums who are coming over all Mary Whitehouse about their offspring learning what they perceive is a sexualised dark art rather than the gymnastic discipline it actually is.

I’m pretty sure there is a distinct difference between the complex and rather beautiful moves that I saw demonstrated on TV today by a teacher from the International Pole Dancing Federation than simply using the pole as a prop while gyrating in a G-string on a dimly lit club stage.

It might have originated in strip cubs but that doesn’t mean it has to include an erotic element if it gets sport status.

With kettle-bell lifting and table soccer now rumoured to also become Olympic sports, I’m waiting anxiously for when clothes shopping gets its verification as I’m definitely a future gold medallist.


A friend who recently started a promising new relationship decided honesty was the best policy.

He didn’t want them to have secrets so, somewhat uncharacteristically, decided to come clean about his frankly colourful past.

It didn’t go well.

So, the question is, do you tell all to a new partner, or do you keep your counsel?

How much is too much and is it actually anyone else’s business anyway what happened ‘before us’?

Obviously, we all have baggage and there are likely to be past relationships and marriages that have shaped our lives.

Keeping those quiet could mean a pretty large elephant in the room just waiting to stampede.

But surely no-one has the right to know every single past mistake, encounter or heartbreak.


Part of Southsea was closed down last week over a minor explosion. And, no, not another WWII bomb this time, but a smouldering disposable barbecue and a firework instead – two things you really don’t associate together either.

Furthermore, the weather had been pretty dreadful so now I’m picturing someone attempting to barbecue in the drizzle, squinting up at a nonexistent sun while their unimpressed friends look on thinking, ‘This is fun!’

When I was a child, the IRA was active so evacuations were common. Once, near Christmas, Uxbridge station and a parade of nearby shops was cordoned off by the bomb squad.

Amid much drama, they dealt with what transpired to be a frozen turkey a shopper had left in a carrier bag