Care homes for the elderly usually have a set idea of recreational activities. And one care home finds itself in the midst of controversy after it tried to deviate from his norm. Reportedly, a care home has invited criticism after it provided pole dancers as entertainment for its elderly residents! About 30 pensioners, both male and female, were given the ‘inappropriate’ activity usually associated with lap dancing clubs, reports Daily Mirror. The heads at the Fairmile Grange home in Christchurch, Dorset defended the form of entertainment. They said that the residents had ‘wanted something a bit different’, had specifically asked for pole dancing and enjoyed the show. The pole dancing session involved six scantily-clad women taking part in the show, which took place in the communal dining room of the care home.

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The dancers gyrated, wiggled around a metal pole that was installed for the show, and danced to tunes like Abba and Singing in the Rain. All dancers were aged between 20 to 40 and wore crop tops and hot pants and leotards. As the performance ended, the elderly residents ‘clapped’ heartily, making it evident that they enjoyed a change from their daily routine of gardening, arts and crafts. Katie Henry, 35, runs the Poole-based Pole Dance Factory and revealed that they had been invited to perform again at the care home. She added that this is perhaps the first time that the dancers had performed to people of that age who weren’t their grandparents. She has been quoted saying, “You get criticism but pole dancing is what you make of it. It is a sport, it’s been certified as a sport, and we specifically put on a sporty, gymnastic performance which we thought was appropriate for a care home.”

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Reportedly, locals have objected to this pole dancing show organised at the care home. Mea Goodall, who was one of the dancers at the show at the care home, says that she enjoyed the performance and strongly hit back at people criticising them for performing at the care home. Daily Mirror quotes her saying, “Anyone of any age has individual tastes; some people will like pole dancing, some people will not. I am passionate about promoting pole dancing as a sport and a dance form but when you try to change perceptions you come up against narrow-minded dinosaurs.”

Some local councillors have criticised the performances, labelling them as ‘inappropriate’ for a care home. Peter Hall, who represents the ward where Fairmile Grange is based said that it is not really the sort of entertainment he would have thought that the residents wanted or would have encouraged. Councillor Denise Jones also agreed with him. But the care home, Fairmile Grange, defended its decision and said that relatives and residents had requested more modern-style activities. They also added that the care home is proud to challenge stereotypes and will continually offer residents the choice to experience appropriate, new and progressive activities.