Care home challenges stereotypes with pole dance routine

A Dorset care home has defended its staging of a pole dance event after triggering a media storm.

Fairmile Grange in Christchurch, Dorset, which is run by Encore Care Homes, staged a performance by the Poole-based Pole Dance Factory for its residents on Sunday.

The event has attracted widespread media coverage and criticism with local councillor Peter Hall describing the performance as “inappropriate”.

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Responding to the press coverage, Izzy Nicholls, Operations and Quality Director at Encore, defended the decision to stage the performance, arguing pole dancing was a “provisionally recognised sport”.

Izzy said Encore would continue to offer residents “a chance to experience appropriate, new and progressive activities”.

She said relatives and residents at the home had requested more “modern style activities” and specifically chose pole dancing from a range of selected choices of activity.

“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,” Izzy commented.

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

Katie Henry, who runs the Pole Dance Factory, said she had been “overwhelmed” the hysterical media response to the event.

“It was just a little show to make people happy,” Katie told CHP.

A member of the CQC’s engagement team commented: “Each care home will have their own policies/ways of working in terms of leisure/entertainment activities.  In terms of our regulatory approach, making sure that people’s individual needs and wellbeing are being met is key. You can learn more about this approach here: https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/adult-social-care/person-centred-care

The CQC said Pole Dance Factory marketed itself as providing fitness activity and that its performers had been wearing gymnastic clothing for the performance. The CQC added it has been informed by the home that people had been given a choice on whether or not to attend the show.

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