Mainland Follies: Kindergarten welcomes students back to school with pole dancers

Screengrab via Twitter video.

A kindergarten principal in Shenzhen has reportedly been sacked after she and fellow members of her pole dancing class demonstrated their prowess by performing for more than 200 children aged 3 to 6.

Yep, you heard us. Don’t believe us? Well there’s video, showing one of the performances on a pole bearing the Chinese flag.

#perversepatriotism

Videos of the dancers, and even an advert for a pole-dancing school, were tweeted this morning by freelance journalist and writer Michael Standaert during the opening day at Xinshahui Kindergarten, in the town of Shajing in Bao’an District.

Standaert tweeted that he and his wife were trying to pull their two children aged 4 and 5 out of the kindergarten after the stunt, part of a performance held for the first day of the school term.

He said his wife briefly spoke to the principal, who performed one dance and defended the pole dancing as “international and good exercise” before hanging up.

In a later tweet, he said they had met a representative of the company that owns the school, which, he said, had promised to take action.

“We met with a representative of the company that owns this school and several other schools. An understatement to say they’ve been getting a lot of complaints today. She told us that the principal is being removed and will be replaced, but that it will take two weeks.”

They were not the only parents upset with the display; screengrabs of conversations between parents over messaging app WeChat show that some are trying to get a refund on their fees, while others were concerned for the well-being of all the students.

Others added they were concerned their kids might try and imitate the pole-dancing moves when they go home.

The school also sent a message to parents apologizing for the public performance saying that they initially only invited a professional dance teacher to perform and liven the atmosphere on the day and did not properly review the performance beforehand.

This is not the first time age-inappropriate pole dancing had been featured at events. According to the BBC, the Chinese government renewed a clampdown on strippers performing at funerals, weddings, and in temples in February, though we will point out that pole dancing as an increasingly mainstream form of exercise is definitely not stripping.

Observers say dancers of a sexier nature are featured at these kinds of formal events to either boost attendance — because large crowds are seen as a mark of honor for the deceased — or as a sign of wealth.

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