Co-founder of dance pole marketed to adults and kids responds to criticism

The maker of the Gympole says they're surprised by critics to who says it sexualizes children.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- An ad marketing a dance or gym pole to children has lit social media on fire!

We first brought you this story Wednesday, and now one of the owners of the Gympole is reacting to all of the backlash.

One of their commercials posted on Facebook features two young girls performing on one of the poles.

Founder Veronika Dolanska says they are based out of the Czech Republic. Through e-mail, she told us her husband invented a pole that can go from static to spin mode easily and you can take anywhere.

Dolanska said they are truly surprised by how the video spread on social media and how negative it has become. Pole fitness or dancing for kids is big in the Czech Republic and other countries around the world.

Many are defending kids getting active in it, saying it's growing in popularity and might become an Olympic sport one day.

Sarah Murray, who owns Impulse Studios in St. Petersburg, also defended the way the girls are dressed.

She said the little girls had to wear small clothing so they can stick to the pole. You can seriously get hurt and even risk your life if you wear long clothes that could cause you to slip.

As for Dolanska, here's part of what she said:

Reporter: Where did the idea come from for the children's ad? Was it intended for kids or was it kind of like, they can do it too?

Dolanska: We are so involved in the pole sports community that we never thought of any "backlash.”  We did not even expect the video to spread around the world the way it has. With all the commotion going on now, we hope that pole dance for kids will now become an open question even [where] it has not been before.

Reporter: Your company is based in the Czech Republic right? What's the mindset of pole dancing there?

Dolanska: Pole dance has been featured on national TV many times, in the Got Talent show there are several pole dancers every season and there was actually an interview and a performance by kids on the Czech religious broadcast channel TV NOE. Yes, really, there were pole dancing kids on a Christian TV channel!

Reporter: How do you feel about some of the backlash the commercial has received? Would you do anything differently?

Dolanska: Some of the comments literally make me sick. I think when someone sees something sexual about kids exercising, they should first have a good look at themselves. If this ad is sexual, then there should be no videos of young synchronized swimmers, as they have their heads underwater and show splits above the water, in a swimsuit.

Further down, she says" 

"If I would do anything differently, there is a moment in the video when one of the girls is executing a very difficult move called the Iron X on a spinning pole. It is a human flag with a straddle position of the legs. I would maybe talk to the camera guy not to slow motion this move. However, before this craziness, he would have looked at me surprised and ask 'Why?' Again, gymnasts do straddles all the time. We are shooting another pole sport video today, and we are super careful with the direction of all the splits."

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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