Christian pole dancing class creating controversy

March 23, 2011 1:35:43 PM PDT
Women in the Houston area are pole dancing once a month ... for Jesus. Yes, the dance moves once reserved for strip clubs are being embraced by devout, church-going women.

In the quaint turn-of-the-century community called Old Town Spring, where Victorian style shops line the streets, one business stands out -- pole fitness for Jesus. There's no preaching, just teaching.

Set to Christian music, church-going women spin and slither around poles. But the instructor and the students say it's not about sex.

"This is my second class," student Tiffany Booth said.

For them, this is about getting closer to God.

"God gives us these bodies and they are suppose to be our temples and we are suppose to take care of them and that's what we are doing," instructor Crystal Dean said.

Booth was raised in church. Now, the pole is her temple.

"I do feel a spiritual connection whenever you have the music on and it's singing about lifting you up and being closer to God. You do feel that," she said.

Getting classes off the ground hasn't been easy for Dean.

"Some guy came up with his Bible and we were in class and he thumped on the door and was waving his Bible," Dean said. "People who want to sit there and judge it, you know, like well that is sacrilegious or you know. That doesn't make you a good Christian when you judge other people."

There are those who just can't get past the stigma.

"In Gods eyes, it wouldn't be attractive," said 19-year-old Eric Purgason.

Purgason's family runs Lord and Nature, a Christian gift shop neighboring the Christian pole dancers.

"We have to watch those boundaries that we cross over and not allow the enemy to take it in another direction," said Dee Bovati with Lord and Nature.

We found women who said the classes clear their moral compass.

"If someone wants to swing on a pole on Sundays then that's their preference," class supporter Penny Primeaux said.

And there are those who straddle the subject.

"Are you doing it in front of men? Are you doing it as for sex in exchange for money? What are you doing it for?" said Allison Hogan, who's skeptical of the classes.

But for these women, there is room for both the Bible and a little body roll in the town that touts its old fashioned ways.

"They're going to church and worshiping God and it was just a way for them to continue that," Dean said.

Best Shape of your Life holds Pole Fitness for Jesus classes on the second Sunday of each month, for ladies who take in their church pamphlets. The classes are free. The instructor's reason? She doesn't want to make a profit on God's day.


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