In response to the complaints about the Snowdown parade float:
As a participant on the offending float, I would like to address the apparent misunderstanding: This is not pole dancing or stripping, as others misjudged it it is pole fitness. Our entry paperwork and the banners displayed on our float clearly stated that, so please understand the difference.
Many participants in pole fitness actually have families, and it is hurtful to insinuate that these mothers are not family friendly. Personally, I dont recall doing anything other than walking, simple squats, pull-ups and leg vs. I must have missed the day exercise became adult-themed, tasteless and obscene.
The Presidents Challenge exercise program has been in schools since 1966. Pull-ups, walking, sit-ups and the v-sit are all features of that program. Michelle Obama recently launched the Lets Move fitness initiative, specifically targeting our children. If she isnt family-friendly, I dont know who is.
Turn a gymnasts bars 90 degrees, and pole fitness is no different. Dressed from head to toe, Im unsure which part of me was offensive.
For parents concerned about their children, I restate the words of a woman who brought her children to a performance: Children have no frame of reference for the pole. Its their families who teach them that the vertical exercise plane, or any plane, for that matter, is inappropriate. Based on this observation, I implore parents not to cloud their childrens minds with their own insecurities. Our association between the pole and exotic dance comes directly from exotica worry not about your childrens minds but about your own!
I advise everyone to learn the differences between exotica and fitness. We focus on upper body, quad and core strength, and flexibility, and I am saddened that misconceptions and prejudice deter people from these benefits. In the vast world outside the close communities of Southwest Colorado, fitness efforts are actually quite mainstream. I warmly encourage skeptics and supporters alike to join us in class and discover the benefits of these workouts for yourself.
Cat Heatley, Durango