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Pole dancers defend their eye-popping shows for nursing home residents — and dismiss critics who say performances are ‘inappropriate

OLD folk got an eye-popping treat when a troupe of pole dancers performed at their care home.

Six women gyrated around a pole set up in the communal area after OAPs chose the activity from a list of entertainment options.

Critics blasted the “inappropriate” show in Christchurch, Dorset. But one dancer said: “The residents had smiles on their faces.”

The dancer dismissed critics, saying: “Not all OAPs like Scrabble and crosswords.”

Mea Goodall, 27, was one of six women who performed in front of 30 home residents who had chosen their routine ahead of more traditional forms of entertainment.

The women, aged from 19 to 39 and dressed in leotards, hot pants and crop tops, were on stage for half an hour.

But Mea hit back, saying: “Some pensioners like Scrabble and crosswords, but some don’t.

“I admit OAPs and pole dancers aren’t a usual combination, people might think of dirty old men. But many pole dancers aren’t strippers  —  and we aren’t.”


Student nurse Mea added: “It was really good fun, there was nothing negative about it. When we heard someone had cal­led it inappropriate we were shocked as it wasn’t at all.”

Fellow dancer Chloe Velvett-Pallant, a 32-year-old nurse, said: “They were clapping and tapping their feet along with the music. All of them left with smiles on their faces.”

The women performed for free at the unit, which specialises in dementia care. A £50 fee to instructor Katie Henry is to be donated to charity.

Those watching the dance show on Sunday included male and female residents and their families. Local councillor Peter Hall said: “In my view it’s inappropriate for a care home. It’s not really the sort of entertainment I’d have thought that residents wanted.”

But Izzy Nicholls, of Encore Care Homes, which runs Fairmile Grange, said: “Pole dancing is a provisionally recognised sport. We’ll continually offer residents a chance to experience ap­p­r­o­priate, new and progressive activities.”

Caroline Abrahams, of charity Age UK, said: “I see why it raised eyebrows, but if they chose it, that’s up to them.”

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