Pole Dancers Welcome Kindergarteners Back to School in Shenzhen

By Matthew Bossons, September 3, 2018

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A kindergarten in Shenzhen has caused quite a stir, after students arrived at the school this morning to a revealing and unquestionably bizarre performance to welcome them back from summer vacation. 

In video footage circulating on WeChat and Twitter, scantily clad women in high heels can be seen performing a dance routine on a small stage. In another video, shared on Twitter by freelance environmental journalist Michael Standaert, a woman dressed in black can be seen pole dancing from a flag pole while the Chinese flag dangles above. 

Screengrab via Twitter

The school in question is Xinshashui Kindergarten, which is located in Shenzhen’s Bao’an District.  

Standaert, whose two children attend Xinshashui Kindergarten, told That’s that the principal justified the performance by saying it was “international.”  

“Pole dancing, that’s fine, if you want to do it as exercise I have no problem with that. But bringing it into a kindergarten? I just don’t understand,” says Standaert, who has lived in Shenzhen since 2010.  

The school’s management company has since issued an apology, which was provided to That’s by Standaert and can be found below (translation by Tristin Zhang): 

Distinguished parents: 

At the opening ceremony of our kindergarten, we arranged many programs, with the intention to not only make the performances different and unconventional, but also expose the children to a wider range of dances, hence the introduction of pole dancing. We did not, however, have the intention of promoting pole dancing among children as part of their learning, and we surely did not consider the large reaction it would cause. We apologize for the trouble we created for the parents! 

In the process of learning, children will only be exposed to the basics of Chinese dance. After today, the children will not again be introduced to forms of dance that parents do not accept and do not recognize. Parents, please don’t feel too nervous, as there is no pole dancing involved in our course curriculm. All of the courses are made with traditional content, which is integrated with our operating materials, without additional programs. Parents, please rest assured!

This is not the first time Xinshashui Kindergarten has raised eyebrows, according to Standaert. Back in July, before school let out for summer, Standaert arrived at the kindergarten to drop his children off and was surprised to find a military display set up – an exhibit that included mock guns and mortars. 

“I complained to her [the principal] then, asking why they were doing this and what was appropriate about it,” says Standaert. “But a lot of parents were supportive of that, so I didn’t really push too hard.”

Image via Michael Standaert/Twitter

Image via Michael Standaert/Twitter

In the aftermath of this morning’s pole dancing performance, the principal of Xinshashui Kindergarten has been dismissed, according to The Paper. The school is also facing an investigation from the Bao’an District Education Bureau.

That’s was unable to reach Xinshashui Kindergarten for comment.

UPDATE (September 3, 2018 at 5.24pm CST): This article has been updated to clarify that the principal of Xinshashui Kindergarten has been dismissed, per this report from The Paper

[Cover image: video screengrab via Twitter]

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