A Brighton poledancer who was told she couldn’t join a city sports festival can now take part after the council reviewed its position.
Chloe Anderson, who runs pole fitness school Passion 4 Pole, was told her application to join this years Take Part festival was being halted because of it could damage the council’s reputation in a “politically sensitive landscape.”
Yesterday Brighton and Hove City Council’s assistant chief executive Paula Murray defended the decision, citing concerns over positive body image.
But this evening, she issued a new statement saying the council had reconsidered its position. She said: “The council is very supportive of sport and fitness pursuits and we recognise that pole fitness is a popular and growing gymnastic sport.
“We are reviewing our position with a view to being more inclusive and encouraging of a discipline which requires great fitness, agility and endurance.
“To this end pole fitness taster sessions will be available during the Take Part festival.
“However the council does not support the pole dancing movement associated with the sex industry.
“We believe this clarifies our position as an organisation that is responsible for the wellbeing of young people and developing coordinated strategies for the prevention of violence towards women and girls.”
Miss Anderson said she was “over the moon” at the decision. She said: “We’ve had so much support from so many people, almost 500 signatures in less than 24 hours.
“Thank you to everyone who liked and shared our petition, your support has meant the world to us and we will now be able to showcase Pole Fitness in Take Part 2015.
“Thank you also to Brighton Council for reconsidering their decision and seeing pole fitness for what it really is, an amazing sport suitable for all shapes, sizes and ages and which promotes great body image and also improves confidence.
“We look forward to seeing you all at Take Part 2015.”
A petition started by Miss Anderson last night on the change.org website had been signed by 480 people by 7pm today.
The Take Part festival will take place over two weeks this summer, dates yet to be confirmed.