It’s the end of the world as we know it.

CHILDREN as young as seven are pole dancing in a trend that has sparked outrage among sane people, says The Daily Telegraph.

Pole fitness classes held in Sydney use poles to perform strengthening and flexibility exercises for teens and pre-teens. I remember when my little sister was in gymnastics and I couldn’t help but giggle every time they said “mini-tramp.” This is worse. A lot worse.

Pole dancing, say those who pole dance, has spread from strip clubs to Hollywood and beyond, popularised by Tinseltown celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Teri Hatcher and most recently Britney Spears in her latest video clip.

The article features an eleven-year-old Angela, who does up to three classes a week to gain strength after an illness, said she was much fitter. And her boyfriend likes it as well. (I made that last part up but can it really be far behind?)

Her mother Julie yesterday defended allowing Angela to take the classes, insisting it had increased her fitness and confidence after she was diagnosed with coeliac disease earlier this year. She added she stays and watches her daughter each class. Ok. That just sound weird.

“It’s not slutty or anything,” says the mother. Participants dress in casual shorts and tops and go barefoot during the classes.

“It’s a shame people do not realise they are separate because it’s depriving a lot of people from having fun with their fitness,” she said. Yeah. Fun.

Notice that the mother didn’t allow the use of her full name. But there’s nothing to be ashamed of.