The residents “thoroughly enjoyed the performance”.

[Chris Baynes | Independent]

A care home which invited pole dancers to perform for its elderly residents has said it may host more displays, rejecting claims the entertainment was “completely inappropriate”.

Local councillors were “staggered” to learn dance school students had performed for residents at Fairmile Grange in Christchurch, Dorset.

But the home’s managers said residents and their relatives had asked for a pole-dancing company to perform after requesting “more modern-style activities”.

Students from Dorset schools Pole Crazy and Pole Dance Factory performed to classic songs from the 1950s, 60s and 70s in the grounds of the 80-bed home, which cares for the elderly and people with dementia.

Some councillors objected to the display, which included music by Abba and Frank Sinatra.

“My view is that it is completely inappropriate for a care home,” Dorset county councillor Peter Hall told the Bournemouth Echo. “It’s not really the sort of entertainment I would have thought that the residents wanted or would have encouraged.”

“We are proud to challenge stereotypes and will continually offer our residents the choice to experience appropriate, new and progressive activities.”

— Izzy Nicholls

Christchurch councillor Denise Jones said: “I’m a bit staggered about it. While I’m always delighted to see the horizons of older people widened, I’m not sure that includes pole dancing.”

The home’s operator, Encore Care Homes, said dancers wore gymnastics clothing during the “artistic display of musicality and gymnastic ability”.

It said residents could choose whether to attend and those who did “thoroughly enjoyed the performance”.

zzy Nicholls, the company’s director of operations, said: “Relatives and residents requested more modern-style activities. Residents were given several choices of activity and specifically chose for a local pole dancing company to perform.

“This performance sport combines dance and acrobatics, requiring great physical strength and endurance.

“Dementia residents and non-dementia residents all thoroughly enjoyed this artistic display of musicality and gymnastic ability – and the showcase received overwhelming positive feedback from relatives.

“We are proud to challenge stereotypes and will continually offer our residents the choice to experience appropriate, new and progressive activities.”

Pole Crazy said residents “by all accounts had a wonderful time” and said critics misunderstood performers.

In a statement on Facebook, the dance school added:  ”Sadly, as always with our sport, there are some who want to tarnish that, to diminish our strength, ability and self-worth.

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