Cambridge Union To Offer Pole Dancing Lessons

Cambridge Union Society is courting controversy with their newest addition to Easter’s termcard, in the form of POLE DANCING lessons.

Cambridge Union juan de francisco natalie szarek pole dancing striptease Union

Cambridge Union Society is courting controversy with their newest addition to Easter’s termcard, in the form of POLE DANCING lessons.

The classes, billed as ‘pole-fitness’, will give members an innovative way to de-stress during exam term.

Four sessions are currently confirmed, and Union Ents Officer Juan de Francisco told The Tab that they will continue as long as there is demand.

The women’s-only weekly classes are set to start on April 25th at 6pm, in the Union’s Blue Room. No prior experience is necessary. 

Private pole dancing lessons have long been available in Cambridge, but never before has the daring dance form been offered by a University society.

Members can partake in the provocative pastime for just £2 per hourly session- the same price as the yoga and pilates already on offer. Non-members are also welcome for a £6 fee. 

The Union is no stranger to scandal, attracting international attention last year when right wing US radio host Michael Savage had an invitation to speak withdrawn at the last minute

However, the Union are keen to avoid a comporable clamour, zealously marketing the risqué activity as harmless fun. 

De Francisco told The Tab, “The classes are for fitness and well-being, and are not intended to be sexual. High heels are actually discouraged – the instructor has told me that attendees should wear trainers or go bare-foot.”

In his manifesto, newly elected de Francisco promised “to turn the Union into a fun refuge during a tough exam term”. Rumoured to be eyeing a Union Presidential run, he admits that pole-fitness is risky business. 

He explained, “The idea actually wasn’t mine – it was suggested to me by a female member of the Union who takes classes by the same instructor.”

"I then went to the Ents Committee and asked for their opinions. I only received responses from the female members of the Committee" he continued.

Union Press Officer Rebecca Bailey told The Tab that pole-dancing lessons are “a way of empowering women, as well as being a fantastic way to exercise and have fun together with other women”. 

She added, “Obviously the Blue Room will be off limits to all who are not participating in the class, and there is no way for anyone to ‘peep’ into this room.”

No criticism has yet been levelled at the initiative. Bailey explained that she had been led to believe that CUSU Women’s Campaign were not planning to take a strong stance on the issue.

Nevertheless, Bailey told The Tab, “To suggest that the Union is in some way guilty of condoning chauvinist attitudes towards women would be as insulting as it is ridiculous.” 

Covering every base, Bailey also pre-empted allegations of sexism against men, explaining that separate classes for men could be introduced, if there is demand.

Pole dancing is an increasingly accepted form of exercise, with classes offered in many gyms throughout the country. A number of celebrity devotees helped popularise the ‘sport’ a few years ago.

The announcement that the Union is set to jump on the ‘strippercise’ bandwagon follows the news that one third of female students would “work in a gentlemen’s club to fund their degrees.”

However Charmaine Yeoh, 2nd year Queens’ lawyer, can't see infamous Cambridge lap-dancing den Talk of the Town snapping up many students as a result of the new classes.

She told The Tab: “it's not like we can get jobs during term anyway, so there's not going to be a massive influx of pole dancing clubs opening…”