58 Camberwell Road Hawthorn East VIC 3123

Preliminary Lodgement

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We found this application for you on the planning authority's website over 5 years ago. It was received by them 5 days earlier.

(Source: Boroondara City Council, reference PP14/00349)

57 Comments

Have your say by adding your own comment.

  1. Heather Morris commented

    I have several objections to this business opening.
    1. Parking- As I work in the area and struggle to get a park at the best of times, I wonder how 20+ people a class or a party are going to add to the congestion of the area?
    2. Does the building have the required number of car parks to accommodate the number of people per class? In the past, the planning department has often refused an application if car parking requirements are not met. There should not be an exception made in this case.
    3. The description on the planning permit says a dance studio, it was certainly not made clear that it is an exotic POLE DANCING studio. I don't care if it is for fitness or not, this needs to be made clear in the planning application. In my opinion it was purposely omitted from the application so that the justified, natural objection to this type of business would be avoided.
    4. Signage. I find the signage for this business incredibly objectionable as the location, next to residences is very insensitive. Do the residents with young children nearby need to see a scantily clad woman with a pole in between her butt cheeks on the window every day? This is especially of concern considering that there is an occasional childcare centre only a few doors up in the fernwood gym.
    5. The business offers parties and hen's nights. Does that mean that alcohol will be consumed on the premises? Do they have a BYO licence? Do they have all the right facilities and requirements needed to accommodate such parties?
    6. The business located upstairs has the right to operate without being disturbed. How will that be possible? What acoustic sound baffling has been put in place to prevent sound dispersion? Are they required to put it in?

    Overall I think that is the wrong location for such a business. I think that my objections are relevant and I would like the application to be denied, if not for the flow on effects from the actual operation of the business but the parking requirements surely demand a refusal.

  2. Justin Morris commented

    In the description of "dance studio" they left out the "erotic" and "pole" component of it. The description in the advertising of the application should be be "erotic pole dancing classes". Exotic is where you wear a mask when you dance, erotic is when you are imitating a stripper. This can be witnessed with the larger than life half naked woman grinding a pole as their front window image.

    As the tenants up stairs I'm less than impressed with what it definitely going to disrupt our business in regards to noise from music. The entire fit-out has been done without a building permit or Part J compliance report (they have refitted 100% of the floor). In their fit-out their electrician pulled out all of our phone lines leaving our companies upstairs with no phones for a week. Many of the rooms have no ceiling or insulation with their "poles" bolted directly to our floor slab. One can but imagine the noise transfer in a room like that through to our office.

    There also seems to be a distinct lack of ventilation installed in the fitout.

    Given it a change of use and they are going to be looking at having anywhere up to 20 - 30 students on site at any one time the 1 single car park they have is grossly inadequate in regards to parking.

    Their website clearly shows the serving of alcohol in promoting hosting hens night events. I doubt booze fueled evenings of hens nights fits into the "dance studio" use.

    This all abuts residential 1. In an office building.

    There is a reason that studio type uses are usually over shops, next to shops that close at 5pm. We are a consulting office that is generally open to 7:30pm as we provide flexi time for parents. We are also often open during the day on weekends for those catching up work. We don't expect to be disrupted by noise during those times. Let alone the degradation in image as a professional consulting firm having an erotic pole dancing school down stairs with larger than life risque images on the windows.

  3. S. Graham commented

    Every morning we stop at the stop sign in Gillman Street at the intersection with Camberwell Road and every morning we are confronted with a larger-than-life, borderline pornographic, image.

    My young children should not be exposed to this on their way to school - this sort of signage is usually limited to 'industrial' estates for a reason. It is not an image suitable for a family area, a residential area.

    Ratepayers like us find it offensive, and dread to think what sort of 'trouble' could be attracted to such an establishment so close to our homes.

    We as a community are trying to deal with rising levels of family violence and teens numb to pornography. Do not put another nail in the coffin of decency - this signage should be deemed unacceptable in this location.

    Please Council, consider your ratepayers and their expectations - at the very least the signage should be restricted to words only, without offensive imagery.

  4. Kathy Harper commented

    We live locally, almost directly across from this building and vehemently oppose this application. In addition the points made above which we support, it is also inappropriate for such a "business" in this neighbourhood of families. It will attract a certain clientele, potentially undesirable, posing possible risks to the safety of the family community and reducing the value of the surrounding properties.

    Please deny this application and maintain a safe and happy community in Boroondara.

  5. Tamara Wilkinson commented

    I have recently been made aware that the relocation of Pole Princess to a venue in Hawthorn has been opposed by local residents. As a long time resident myself of Boroondara (Surrey Hills) and a student of Pole Princess for several years, I would like to let you know how upsetting this is.

    To put it bluntly, I am aware that many people equate pole dancing with stripping. This could not be further from the truth. It is - quite literally - the very best form of exercise I have ever undertaken. It has improved my cardio, muscle definition, balance and coordination. The teachers are experts in their fields - well acquainted with how to provide a fitness regime, undertake complicated choreography and offer advice on injury prevention and management, diet, weight loss, specific exercises, etc. They include athletes, dietitians, personal trainers and award winning dancers among them.

    Pole Princess only offers classes to women, and only those over the age of 18 (without the consent of parents). I, for one, would not be attending if there was a chance that spectators - male or female - would be allowed on the premises. The teachers and students create a really wonderful atmosphere of acceptance and community. I have made some wonderful friends through the classes, and come to appreciate myself.

    I can't stress enough that this is a group of women getting together to get fit and have fun through dance - just like any dance class. We are not training to go in to adult entertainment, as some might allege. I assure you that we have standards of modesty that accord with those found in any family community. Many students at Pole Princess are mothers themselves, and are only too proud of the fitness they gain through pole dancing. We are a group of smart, diverse women, and include many professionals - lawyers, doctors, vets, accountants.

    I understand that you need to balance the needs of the community in this instance. I urge you not to act on any prejudice that may be presented to you. Pole Princess is a serious, well run fitness business, led by an impressive entrepreneur. It is a community. It is a family. Please do not penalise a business that will bring so many benefits to the area on the basis of the closed minded misconceptions of the minority.

  6. Skye commented

    Hello my name is Skye,
    I am a qualified nurse (not an exotic dancer) and think what you are doing to Pole Princess Kew is horrible and unfair!

    Although i have never been to the Kew studio I've attended classes at Pole Princess Mitcham for three months now as a suggestion from my doctor, she said it would help with my circulation as i am diabetic and it is the best thing i have ever done for myself and my health!

    It is unfair and discriminating to not allow our business in your area just because it's a pole dancing studio. We have just as much right to be there as anyone else, we are good, morally upright citizens and most importantly we are a sister hood. If you think you can bully us you've got another thing coming.

    As for the 'pornographic images' i just showed the picture of the girl with the pole in her 'butt cheeks' to my mother and grandmother and they laughed at how ridiculous that was. It's 2014 your children will see more naked women at the local swimming pool and at fernwood gym than in or on our studios. In a day and age where all children have i pads and laptops on witch they can see actual pornographic material focus your energy on actually being a good parent and protecting them from REAL harm. I dance with a few girls at my studio who have kids and let me assure you mummy dancing on a pole is no different to them on the monkey bars so stop trying to make children fight your battles and loose their innocence.
    I just google searched and found several strip clubs and sex shops in Kew so why not the uproar for them?

    I'm not sure what trouble you think we will bring your suburb, we are a all female group, we do not drink alcohol (i honestly cant see why we would, do you see people drinking before a workout at a gym?) nor do we conduct in any illegal activities. We open after hours, go into the building in shorts and a top, warm up, exercise, do a bit of socializing then leave.
    If you honestly think that is a problem or a danger there is actually something seriously wrong with you and i'm sure the local media would agree.

    I think you need to sit down and rethink your objections as not one of them is relevant. Making the accusations you have and by talking down to us for having a healthy hobby makes you look very uneducated and like you have nothing better to do with your time than bully people - maybe you should take up pole?

    Regards

  7. Romy Caddy commented

    As a resident of Boroondara for the last 28 years and a student at Pole Princess Kew, I am personally offended and disgusted with the accusation that this establishment is an 'erotic' dance parlour.

    Pole Princess is purely a fitness establishment with highly qualified and professional instructors and an ever expanding dedicated clientele of professional and successful women.

    As a rate payer, I would like to see more focus on diverse options of fitness and well being in this community and fully support the establishment of this business in Hawthorn East.

    Boroondara has always been a welcoming, forward thinking and diverse council. I implore this council (my council too) to reconsider its position.

  8. Samantha Bullas commented

    I am writing to you in regards to the objection of the pole princess studio.

    After reading the applications to deny the relocation I am absolutely baffled by the negative perception of the pole dancing industry.

    Pole princess is a well established business that has been improving the fitness of women for many years now.
    These classes are for fitness and for fitness alone.
    The misconception that pole dancing is just for strip clubs or thrown into the same category as pornography is absolutely ludicrous.

    I myself work within the pole princess family, and I say family because that is the way that all the students and staff are made to feel when apart of this amazing business.
    I am also a qualified electrician with my own business. So please, tell me how being a pole dance instructor diminishes my character?

    This studio will not decrease the integrity of the area. It will not result in 'possible risks to the safety of the family community ' as i read in one objection and it certainly will not increase violence in the community!

    Pole dancing is a sport.
    A pole dancer is another form of a gymnast or an acrobat.
    These woman will not be 'scantily clad woman' in the streets.

    I reject the comments that blatantly refuse to accept that pole princess is a legitimate business and refer to it as a 'business', erotic dance club or pornographic.

    Woman of all ages, fitness levels and occupations come together to exercise, make friends and have fun while getting fit throughout the pole princess family.

    To reject this relocation on such narrow minded opinions would be a step back for this community.

    Approve this motion.

  9. Anastacia Snelleksz commented

    1. Theres no alcohol on site - the application states this:

    Alcohol on site
    Absolutely no alcohol is provided or allowed on site. We are not a BYO venue nor do we wish to be.

    2. Telstra messed up upstairs phone lines not us. We just tried to get our own lines connected which we were well within our rights to do - or maybe Justin wants to control our phones lines also.

    3. We don't to "erotic" dancing, look up the meaning before you post comments such as this.

    4. Music hasn't even been set up there yet and council have already stated they will have noise limits, therefore Justin & his wifes comments are irrelevant.

    5. There is plenty of sufficient ventilation. Again, an uneducated comment - take a look before you make assumptions.

    6. Permit application clearly states the number of participants per class and this does not exceed 20 in any one hour, even hens night on a Saturday have been stated as "maximum 20". Where Justin got 20-30 from is a bit worrying.... he might need glasses.

    7. Justin thinks he has a right to operate until 7.30pm to provide "flex time for parents" yet no one else in the world is allowed to offer the same. Justin seems to think he's the only person in the world with a right to operate when he wants and how he wants within that building.

    8. We called Justin & Lindsay today to try and make peace and offered to take down the signage that they find offensive in order to keep them happy if they would withdraw their objections and to understand that we have as much of a right to operate there as they do & they wouldn't have a bar of it. They seem to have adopted the opinion that if we try to make peace and try to come to a compromise then none of it will be good enough because they are the only ones with a right to earn a living in that space.

    We make so many women happy with our business and have changed so many lives. It's such a shame what you're trying to do to not only myself, but also to them. Shame on you.

  10. Georgia G commented

    I haves lived in the Boroondara area for three years and been at student at Pole Princess for two. I like all my fellow students work in respected professions (nurses, pharmacists, doctors, lawyers) and I can assure you we all dance for the same reason; fitness. This is one of the best things I have done for my health in terms of cardio an muscle and as a student mental health nurse wanting to work in a field of nursing where physical aggression is not uncommon, having that muscle behind me is extremely beneficial and keeps myself and my colleagues safe. I also enjoy dance and have been dancing in different areas for fifteen years. What surprised me the most on finding out about the objection was that it's been running at a busy intersection in Kew, which correct me if I'm wrong is part of Boroondara, for so long now so why all of a sudden is there an uproar? The studio operates in a professional manner in regards to no spectators, having an age limit at 18, and providing appropriate clothing for us to dance in. There is nothing "erotic" about our pole dancing classes. We learn how to safely improve our strength and flexibility through an enjoyable medium. Furthermore many of the students I have been in classes with are mothers themselves and I believe that if they were to have an issue with pole dancing and anything regarding their children, they would have done something well and truly by now.
    While I understand the reasons to object I believe that you have all been highly misinformed, are being incredibly biased and are making assumptions with a lack of knowledge about what pole dancing really is. I ask that you please educate yourselves before choosing to object so you can make an informed decision.

  11. Adelina Pinelli commented

    Pole Princess is for Women by Women. It's a reputable business that has thrived in Melbourne for the past 7 years. It has grown from its humble beginnings and operates like any other small family run business.

    Pole Princess Hawthorn is one of many locations in an around mixed commercial, residential and industrial type areas in Cheltenham, Lilydale, Reservoir, Mitcham and Mount Waverley and has been a registered business within the City of Booroondara since 2007.

    Unfortunately the current Kew location is being made into apartments, thus the move to the new Hawthorn location is necessary.

    Parking in the City of Booroondara seems to be a much broader issue (There are complaints on the C.O.B social media pages) than just one business on Camberwell Rd. Perhaps all businesses and residents can join together to help the council solve this problem rather than vilify one business because it happens to be the latest one there.

    I for one when I teach my classes at Pole Princess will be mindful and respectful of my surrounding areas. I am certain all Pole Princess staff and students will conduct themselves in such a manner when we park our cars or car pool or catch public transport to Hawthorn to attend or teach our classes.

    I am sure the City of Booroondara will see the benefit of having such a welcoming, focused and inspiring business to the Camberwell rd area.

    Integrity I Collaboration I Accountability I Innovation I Respect- these are the City of Booroondara's key words and I feel that as a staff member of Pole Princess that these are things that are expected of us as staff and that we instill in our students on a daily basis.

    I am in support of the planned move of Pole Princess to 58 Camberwell Rd Hawthorn East.

  12. Miranda Hardenberg commented

    I take offence particulary to the comments of Mr Justin Morris. His personal judgement of "pole dancing" is obviously based on either his personal experiences or his uneducated viewpoint. In the capacity that Pole Princess operate.... pole dancing is a legitimate sport attended by women who are athletes.... not strippers.
    I work for the Government of Victoria and am a mother and to be "assumed a stripper" over an athlete has appalled me.

    In relation to parking, Pole Princess customers like any other customer that attends businesses in the area will adhere to all rules and regulations or will be dealt with by whichever law enforcement agency (council or police)patrols in the area...is that not obvious?

    Regarding the phone lines. If true, this is a problem for builders, not the owner of Pole Princess. And should not even be considered in this application as it has clearly been rectified.

    Regarding signage... I cannot understand how this is considered inappropriate or overly sexual, however if this is something holding back the development I do not understand why the rest of the company cannot open as per normal and negotiations begin re signage. The running of the business should not halt by what is argued regarding the outside????

    If people opened their minds and educated themselves on what Pole Princess do then they would not have a problem. It is extremely disappointing that educated employees of local council would 1. Halt this development, 2. Risk the employment of a large number of employees, 3. Discourage hundreds of women who rely heavily on this company for health and fitness...all because of a few very narrow minded paople.

    Pole Princess stagf and students are all respected and respectful members of your community. They have never caused issues in the number of communities they already operate in.

    I am in full support of this development.

  13. Amanda H commented

    I am a female nurse in my twenties, who only recently stopped attending the Pole Princess Kew "business" to focus on my career by returning Postgraduate studies (I am unable to decide what else an establishment that trades a service - fitness training - for profit, under an ABN would be called? I think even the much feared cat houses and gentleman's parlours, that don't seem to exist under some of these complainants' rocks, are still actually businesses!)

    I am apparently also one of these "trouble" causing women.

    I would explain to those who fear the image of a scantily clad woman on the sign, that I have never seen a single Pole Princess student or teacher wear such attire outside the internal studio rooms and on the street. For one thing, it's way too cold. For another, we're there to exercise. I would challenge that you can see the far more controversial and more scantily clad teenager (one of the children that must be protected, even ) on a simple walk through your local shopping centre.

    Even if the Pole Princess girls were - what does it matter? I would implore Boroondara council to think very carefully on the reasons put forward against Pole Princess. Do you want to discriminate against women who have found a fitness regime that encourages confidence and ability in all shapes and sizes? Do you really want to be the council that gets put up on the stake for being chauvinistic, narrow minded and banning an exercise studio not for what they DO - dance and fitness -but how they LOOK?

    And by look, I mean at first glance to anyone who can't read past the pretty lady on the sign to the description, which is probably their own problem. So let's cut to the quick of the complainants issue - that these premises may look like a den loose women to said ignorant observers? I would think in today's liberated society, where equality of sex, race, gender and all those wonderful other things is encouraged, an apparent risque occupation or personal life shouldn't even really matter. It ESPECIALLY shouldn't matter when it's not even the case!

    If there are legitimate issues regarding parking, sound proofing etc. that Pole Princess is unable to rectify, that is a separate issue. In fact they have already offered to remove the apparently "disgraceful" signage, in a gesture of cooperation, and were flat out rejected by other tenants. But Boroondara council, please don't allow such a fun and fantastic institution be denied their rights based on nothing but ignorance fear, poor judgment and discrimination.

  14. Katie Barnett commented

    I would like to register my support for the Pole Princess dance studio application to trade in Hawthorn. I have been a member of the studio for two and a half years and it was one of the best decisions in my life to start pole dancing with Pole Princess. Prior to starting classes I was very unfit, had very low self-esteem, low opinion of my body and poor confidence in myself. I decided to try pole dancing as I am not suited to many sports and wanted to try something fun and different.

    The community that I have found at Pole Princess Kew is amazing, I have met some wonderful girls and have formed lasting friendships. None of the girls I know have 'loose morals' or are the 'wrong type of people', nor should I (or the council) make judgements of this. We have people of all walks of life attend classes, doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers, pharmacists, students, and myself an IT consultant, I would have thought that these are the kinds of people that you would want to encourage to come to the neighbourhood to live, work and shop. None of these students are learning to dance in order to be a stripper, exotic dancer or prostitute for money. We are doing these classes for fitness and to improve our self image. I know that my, and other students who have confided in me, self image has improved markedly from when I started classes, I am now so much fitter, flexible and comfortable within myself that I was before. For once in my life I look forward to exercise and to see my friends and my dedicated, excellent instructors several times week.
    I think that the objectors to this application would be amazed to see how we giggle every time someone mentions something remotely sexual - we don't take all our clothes off, we wear workout gear - similar stuff to what I would wear for a yoga class, we do wear heels, but that is because it is easier to dance and pivot in them (many male ballroom dancers wear shoes with a small heel as it enables them to dance better).

    I would add that parking is always a problem - no matter what business is there. Also, our classes and parties are usually held well out of office hours - usually after 6:30pm at night or on the weekend, this will not add to the congestion for business or general shopping hours at all. If there is congestion in the area perhaps the council needs to spend time dealing with that rather then spending time blocking rate paying businesses. Many people get public transport to classes or events and often I will carpool with other students.

    To the comment about attracting undesirables, if this objector worked in a shop, would they deny me service if I came in to buy something just because I choose to exercise to music? Am I an undesirable clientele? I am 27, I have a full time job with a reasonable salary, a double uni degree, I own property in the city and grew up in Mont Albert, a very high socio economic suburb. I think this could even be an advantage to the area, often after class my friends and I will go buy and ice-cream or coffee - the local coffee shops may even increase in business which would help the shop rent and property prices.
    And what risk am I to safety? We often finish class late in the evening, having a very visible group of women walking to their cars around the area at night may improve safety, as would having a business being open at a late hour - it would indicate to potential criminals that there are people around and watching.
    Is this person expecting that people (men) will hang around and try and look into our classes? I can assure you if anyone is hanging around trying to intimidate or spy on us then the police would be informed immediately.

    I challenge any of these objectors to come to a class or a performance and tell us exactly what is so 'undesirable' about it. I think they will find that it is a group of women having fun and improving their fitness, strength and flexibility. I am sure many of these people have paid to see acrobats in circuses perform very similar moves in just as revealing costumes and enjoyed every minute and recommended it to their friends. Indeed, there was a pole dancer in the Australia's Got Talent television show last season, she performed on national television during a family timeslot yet I did not hear outcry over this. We are not televising our classes or showing them to anyone else, we just need a building to be in.

    Please support this application because this business is important to so many people.

  15. Jane E commented

    ??I am writing in relation to the proposed Pole Princess Hawthorn studio with the intention of rebutting several unfounded objections to its existence.

    ??The first is that the opening of the dance studio will attract an undesirable clientele who may pose a risk to the safety of families in the area. The idea is, frankly, preposterous; the clientele consists of women from teenagers to 50+, very many of them with young families of their own - no male classes run, nor are men allowed to enter the studio to watch the classes. As a third-year law student employed in hospitality I find the assumption that I and my fellow dancers are automatically classified as strippers, undesirable and possibly representing a danger to the community ludicrous and insulting in the extreme.

    ??Another objection raised was the “trouble” which could be “attracted to such an establishment”. Is it supposed that Pole Princess is actually a front for a strip club and brothel? Nothing could be further from the truth. To reiterate, no men attend as customers of any description; the clients are all female, many with young children, who have successfully danced for many years a mere 4km down the road without attracting “trouble”.

    ??Another objection raised to the opening of Pole Princess Hawthorn is that it would be “another nail in the coffin of decency”, a belief that, despite being laughable, is again insulting. The assumption that we dancers, with our love for a sport that has much more in common with gymnastics than with stripping, are contributing to rising levels of family violence and insensitivity to pornography is verging on the delusional. Far more provocative advertising permeates our world daily than the photograph which has been in widespread use at Pole Princess studios for years, including at the current Kew location nearby. The inference drawn between pole dancing and family violence is tenuous at best - it is unfathomable how dance and strength classes, operating out of sight of the public purely for the purpose of fun and fitness, could be perceived to encourage either domestic violence or to create a familiarity with pornography.

    ??Residents have, very naturally, responded to what they clearly perceive to be a potential threat to their family’s safety and the ambiance of their neighbourhood. The facts of the situation clearly show, however, that their fears are based upon misconception and prejudice against what has only recently become a mainstream form of fitness. There is a clear lack of experience with the sport - and sport it certainly is - and a firmly-embedded misconception that Pole Princess Hawthorn would bring an undesirable element into their community. On the contrary, the only people it would be attracting is potential clients for nearby businesses, a group of women who are passionate about their chosen form of fitness and expression.

    ??As someone who has been a part of the Pole Princess community for more than two years now I urge you to reconsider. The closure of the Hawthorn location would have a devastating impact upon the owner, the teachers and the hundreds of students who only want to get stronger, learn to keep their toes pointed and enjoy dancing with their friends.

  16. Patrice commented

    I have recently heard of the decision to reject the licensing permit of Pole Princess Australia, prohibiting them from commencing business operations at their new Hawthorn establishment. Upon reading some of the objections and concerns held by your residents and neighbouring businesses, I would like to share the reality of pole dance fitness, and the reality of Pole Princess’ student base, with you and the Boroondara council.

    The history of pole dancing dates back hundreds of years, originating in India and China where it was performed as an exhibition of upper-body and core strength, endurance and stamina; no different to that which is demanded of Olympic gymnasts, or acrobats in famed entertainment establishments such as Cirque du Soleil. In more recent times, pole dancing has become widely appreciated as an intense upper-body and core fitness regime for both men and women. As many students of Pole Princess will happily share with you, the strenuous physical demands of pole dance fitness has single-handedly improved stamina, upper body strength, aided weight-loss and weight maintenance and boosted overall health and well-being.

    Pole dancing is quickly making its way into the health and fitness mainstream with numerous studios and companies already set up across Australia. Pole Princess alone will have 7 studios operating in Melbourne by August this year. The opening of a Pole Princess studio in Hawthorn is no different, and should not be treated any differently, to the opening of any other health and fitness institution whether it be a ballroom or ballet studio, a yoga or pilates studio, or a standard gymnasium. Anastacia Snelleksz (Director of Pole Princess Australia) and her dedicated team of staff and fitness instructors, have worked tirelessly to promote pole fitness and women’s health and well-being to overcome the stigma and stereotypes which have sullied the name, skills and strength required of pole dancing.

    I, myself, am a 22 year old graduate of Monash University and am currently employed as a department coordinator by BMW Group Australia. In January 2013, I joined Pole Princess with an associate who is a double-degree Law and Commerce graduate of Monash University who recently completed a placement with top-tier consulting firm, Deloitte Australia. During our time at Pole Princess, our classes have been attended by women completing university studies and others who are employed full-time by organisations such as MYOB, IBISWorld and the Australian Psychological Society.

    It is highly offensive that law-abiding and tax-paying students, working women and mothers should find our personal health and fitness achievements belittled; and our selves stereotyped as “undesirable[s]”, “trouble” or “posing possible risks to the safety of the family community”. I wish this to be known and clearly communicated to the Boroondara Council and its residents.

    Pole Princess Australia is home to hundreds of women of all ages and from all walks of life – each night of classes boasts a diverse student body of which the Boroondara Council should be proud to host within its zone. Pole dancing encourages women to take pride and confidence in themselves, their health and their bodies. It has brought shock and awe to me, as a student, and to my fellow classmates as to what the human body is capable of achieving through hard-work and dedication. As such, I strongly urge the Boroondara council to take the time to carefully reconsider their decision and to allow Pole Princess Australia to commence their business operations at the Camberwell Road premises.

  17. Bridget commented

    Pole Princess has not only helped me get fit and strong, and finally healthy - it's made me an amazingly confident woman in just a year of doing classes there.

    Given that there are many established dance studios in the City of Boroondara already, I'm surprised to find such objections! Dancing is dancing. We are no more scantily clad, no more sexualised, and no more dodgy or seedy than any other dance studio.

    In fact, we'd almost be more safe. Given the awareness that I, and I'm sure many other girls, have about the stigma that surrounds pole dancing (as made evident by these ridiculous comments and objections) we're even more cautious to provide a supportive and encouraging environment for each other.

    No spectators are allowed at any classes. No males are allowed at any classes. No shady business happens at all.

    Given that the only objection to allowing girls to get fit and healthy in a fun environment these other residents have, is to project their ridiculously outdated, sexist, and misogynistic views onto a bunch of women who are doing nothing to harm them, aren't breaking any laws, aren't doing anything untoward, I expect the Council will see reason and refuse to listen to such discriminatory and uneducated objections.

  18. Monique Varin commented

    As a student of pole princess I am greatly distressed to be reading such judgmental, close-minded and uneducated opinions of us.

    The studio is basically our gym, and we are no different to any other gym goer, the only thing different is the length of shorts - which mind you are only so short because that's the only way we can dance properly and without injury!

    All of the students are respectable women - some of us mothers, wives, working women who all just want to get an amazing workout and feel good about ourselves.
    I am a pastry chef by trade - and I can guarantee you will find worse characters in a bakery than you will ever find at pole.

    Pole princess is a community, you make amazing friendship by sharing a passion for dancing and fitness - none of us want to cause trouble for anyone!

    As for the signage - have any of you read a magazine lately? Or gone on the internet? Our signage is very tame compared to what you find will in either of those.
    I'm sorry that a woman posing in exercise clothing is so unsettling for you to see - do you also refuse to take your children to the beach because you don't want to expose them to women dressed in LESS than what is worn in the signage?

    I fully support this application - we should not be discriminated against, all we want is a place to dance, get fit, and enjoy ourselves. We are not a threat to anyone or anything.

  19. Nick Watson commented

    I am writing to add my voice to the many who support Pole Princess's application to move their dance studio to Hawthorn. It is precisely that, a dance studio - nothing erotic or sexual or untoward about it.

    These classes help women to improve their health and fitness, and I see absolutely no reason why they should not be allowed to operate as they please in accordance to zoning restrictions.

    Do not allow misguided, misinformed moral value judgments and hearsay to influence an objective, evidence-based decision-making process. Doing so would compromise the integrity of this process, and be a breach of trust for the constituents of Booroondara, who expect these decisions to made in accordance with fact, and nothing else.

  20. Friend of a princess. commented

    Seriously? Strippers?

    So if an street art studio opened there instead would you object due to the stoners and thugs with no real job?

    Please. It's 2014, let's leave the objectifying and stereotyping for trash TV mhhhh kay?

    This is the reason we have a rape culture. Instead of treating these women like the professionals and athletes they are you objectify them as sexual objects. It's not your children being exposed to sexualised images it's you putting that opinion in their heads.

    They aren't scantily clad on the way to class. They get changed there. Your children won't see it.

    They've offered to take the sign down. Your children won't see it.

    You can't just line up for a beer at the bar and sit down and watch women take their clothes off. Your children are not see it.

    So basically all your objections (except the noise complaint which you haven't even been open to discussion about) are void.

    And the end of the day, all your trying to shut down with your sexual objectifying and stereotyping of a business woman who has made every effort to meet you in the middle. And a group of young woman being objectified because they spend some time after work in group fitness classes after working as teachers and nurses.

    So you tell me whose offending who?

  21. Melinda commented

    I am writing in support of reference PP14/00349 for Pole Princess to open their new studio in Hawthorn.

    I would like to firstly introduce myself, my name is Melinda.

    I work full time for a very large, well known and reputable Insurance company. I do not take my clothes off for money, in fact like most girls that do pole fitness I am very self conscious so taking my clothes off is not what I consider one of my favourite pastimes. I don't believe I'm 'trouble'(what ever the definition of that is supposed to be, and if you mean by that I'm a less desirable member of the community well I'm happy to post that I don't actually have a criminal record, shock horror!)

    I am more than happy to disclose to you I am around 80kgs (which is 15kgs less than I was prior to starting pole fitness) I am not 'erotic' in any way shape nor form, in fact I do pole fitness to help improve my core strength, build muscle and loose weight all in a very supportive, happy and safe environment.

    I first started at Pole Princess Kew in 2010 when I first moved to Melbourne from Interstate and was welcomed with open arms.

    I understand there are other businesses in the area, I also believe everyone is entitled to an opinion however I do not agree with the discriminatory and degrading comments that are being left in a public forum (and in a form of defamation) against the company and the students of Pole Princess from the so called 'professional' business owners and tenants in the vicinity.

    Would it not be considered common courtesy and professional business practice to at least be willing to negotiate with Pole Princess Australia? To be approached about disusing the concerns only for these business's to not even have a bar of it is far beyond what I would consider professional, are we adults here or are you chucking a tantrum?

    If there are concerns with parking, noise, hens parties why not address these concerns as I'm sure Pole Princess is willing to negotiate on these terms? I’m sure that you are well aware of the parking issue in the area and well sometimes things go beyond ones individual control so perhaps you should consider discussing with the council, if you see this as such a issue?

    We live in a society with far more concerns then a local dance studio, there are paedophiles on the streets, children go to the beach and public pools in less clothing then we would wear to a class and if some would take the time to even bother opening their mind and looking into the sport you will realise the reason for minimal clothes is 'grip' so you skin can better hold you when performing acrobatic combinations. We do not walk the streets in our pole clothes, we would freeze, however perhaps you should consider what some of the youth of today (some of these your children) wear EVERDAY than spend time worrying about our gym attire?

    I don't believe you should penalise a pole dancing school for what signage they may have, I believe it was only a few months back there was a particular Bonds campaign on multiple billboards in the Melbourne area with the word 'Boobs'printed on a woman in underwear, there are also varies TV shows, movies and other advertising campaign’s that are far more offensive then a attractive and fit woman, stand against a pole NOT grinding it. To say that’s its borderline 'pornographic ‘is pathetic. You should perhaps consider the types of content your kids have on their ipads/PlayStations etc.?
    There are also a large number of mothers that attend classes and can also confirm how pole dancing has helped them shed post baby weight and get their self confidence back. The owner of Pole Princess is a well known entrepreneur, won many awards and is well known not only in the community but also in the media for her great accomplishments from her studios and promotion of empowerment within woman as well as woman’s fitness.

    I don't believe that any of the ‘excuses’ provided here are justified as there has been no discussion between the two parties so they are only based on assumption and hearsay.

    I believe this is a matter of perception, a few closed minded individuals that are not open to exploring nor understand that the purpose of pole fitness is for sport, leisure and promotes self confidence and a safe place for females to workout without being judged.
    The studio has been operating in Kew under the same council for a number of years and this is just a case of a few individual’s opinion with no actual FACT.

    As business people you must understand the impacts you are causing by creating delays (and I say delays as this WILL be accepted and the studio WILL open) to the studio operating, not only the financial burden you are creating for Pole Princess Australian and their profitability as well as the potential job losses for staff which would then further contribute the national unemployment rate as well as the loss of a training facility for hundreds of members in the local vicinity.

    Pole Princess is for all woman, no matter your size, shape, race or religion. This is a place where people workout, make friends, have a laugh all in the name of fitness.
    Dot not ruin this based on your personal ‘perception’, take the time to research the sport, maybe even come to watch a class (females only) and you will see the true beauty and talent of these individuals.
    I, and many individuals support this application and have complete confidence that it WILL go ahead regardless of your negative, closed minded attitudes.

  22. Trish Gallagher commented

    I am writing with regards to the council permit for Pole Princess Hawthorn, in particular complaints regarding the studios operation within the suburb.

    I attended Pole Princess about three years ago to try something ‘different’. I was not interested in doing netball or other run of the mill exercise and I found pole princess through a friend.

    Not only did Pole Princess assist hugely in building my fitness and stamina, words cannot describe what it did for my confidence and self esteem.

    Far from complaints that you have received pertaining to Pole Princess, any community in Melbourne would benefit from an empowering business focused on growing and nurturing quality attributes for its attendees – confidence-building, health-consciousness and time/self commitment. Particularly women, but men as well. I would highly recommend watching YouTube or seeking out fitness images of 3 times world champion pole dancer and 5 time international champion pole dancer Evgeny Greshilov.

    I feel its important to note I am not some ‘silly mid twenties chick out for sordid shenanigans’, I am a 43 year old woman who has a successful government career and who has made some incredible friends (most of them mums) through Pole Princess.

    Anastacia (a mother herself) has won countless business awards after growing Pole Princess from a single top floor studio in Kew to one of the most popular franchise businesses to own in the Melbourne Metropolitan area. She is loved and respected by the people whom she helps grow into confident members of the community.

    For some background, the only reason I stopped going to Pole Princess was time, I was also a member of the inaugural weight loss and fitness challenge held by Pole Princess and heavily featured in the media. When my circumstances change I will make the drive from Bulleen to Hawthorn any day of the week including early Saturday mornings – if I can secure a spot. In my knowledge this is one of the busiest times and residences surrounding the new premises may be surprised to see that the people attending the studio aren’t in bed hungover. In my knowledge, late night pubs and clubs, parks, dark laneways etc attract potential undesirables. Not fitness studios. I am sure you are a busy man and have better things to think about, time spent increasing security on Glenferrie Rd after hours and improving lighting in laneways would be time better spent than arguing with bigoted and naïve values.

    I find it abhorrent that there are STILL draconian citizens out there with a narrow-minded view of this sport. In fact, Hawthorn residents might enjoy a class. Their minds would be changed instantly

    I trust you will appreciate the value of this business and the good that it does for not only Kew and soon to be Hawthorn, but Melbourne on a whole, and make the right choice.

  23. Kathryn green commented

    I started as a student at pole princess about 2 years ago, I liked it so much that I auditioned to become an instructor.
    The comments made against pole princess are highly untrue. Pole princess is a friendly environment where women of all shapes and sizes come together to exercise in a social and welcoming environment.
    How many articles do we read today about obesity high cholesterol type 2 diabetes? Just to name a few. A business that is promoting health and fitness should be encouraged.
    Perhaps some of the people who have complained would like to hear some before and after stories? How pole had changed women not only physically but also mentally, helped many women who have felt down to re gain their confidence.
    I would really hope that those who have made complaints to try and keep pole princess from opening could perhaps be a little bit more mindful of others.

    Pole princess is a supportive family, created by an amazing and successful women Anni who only wants the best for all her staff and students.

  24. Madeleine commented

    I, like many students of Pole Princess are for one disgusted with these accusations made against us.
    I fully support the new Hawthorn studio, and the ever growing business that is Pole Princess.

    We are a community of women who work hard to maintain our health, which should be correctly recognised rather than misconstrued.
    I truly hope that this establishment can open on time and I know correct measures to ensure the community are more comfortable, and correctly informed about this fantastic business will be made.

  25. Chiara Raine commented

    I was a receptionist at Pole Princess for 3 years, and I can tell you now that it was the best place to work. My manager was phenomenal, the instructors were so inspiring and the students were amazing. It truly is a community.

    Pole Princess offers a RANGE of classes include pole dancing, yoga-based, cardio-based and dance classes. No we do not teach people how to be strippers, and no we are not strippers. No we do not operate as a strip club. No there are no males allowed. It is an ALL FEMALE pole studio.

    Can you honestly tell me that this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iIT5WUxFvA is sleazy, pornographic or erotic? NO! It’s strong, powerful, empowering and beautiful to watch. Pole dancing is a form of art and requires a great deal of strength and flexibility.

    There are a small minority of narrow minded people who belong in the dark ages. Their opinions are out-dated and quite frankly medieval. You need to get with the times, this is a new form of fitness. The students at Pole Princess are uni students, mums, grandmothers, all just looking for a fun way to exercise and get fit. Pole dancing does this in a way that is fun, interactive, empowering and effective!

    I have made friendships at Pole Princess that will last a lifetime and I am sure there are many students who feel the same. Pole Princess is literally a home away from home for so many students and to take this away from them would be tragic. Teachers would lose their jobs and students would lose their gym, their happy place and their sanctuary.

    There are literally thousands of dedicated Pole Princess students across Melbourne and we are going to keep fighting. Pole Princess is a pole community.

    We are not going to take this lying down.

    We are not going away.

  26. lauren Carruthers commented

    As a member of the pole dancing community for the past 5 years, I find the objections to the proposed site of pole princess to be completely ridiculous. I Have worked for Pole Princess for the past 3 years as a teacher, a role that is both incredible rewarding as well as being my main source of income. I began pole dancing classes to increase my fitness and for fitness alone and I am very proud of the results I have been able to achieve from pole dancing. When I finished studying to become a dietitian, I continued teaching with Pole Princess to keep my fitness levels up and because of the community I belong to- the people I dance with have become some of my closest friends and support network.

    Pole dancing it a way to get fit, and I would say that is true for 100% of my students. I have classes full of mothers and well respected business women, with the common goal of fitness. With so many gyms on offer around the place, the aspect of pole dancing that really stands out is the instant connection and community you belong to.

    As a dietitian, I have suggested pole dancing to many of my clients for weight loss. Pole princess itself also runs a weight loss program which is hugely successful for participants. Given the drastic increase in rates of overweight and obese people in Australia as a whole, ANY form of exercise should be encouraged and accepted, and as a council it looks particularly poor to be against something that is so empowering for so many females.

    I am very proud to be a part of this community and I understand it will take work to change the minds of many, many small minded people to whom "Pole Dancing" draws negative imagery.

    I hope that you seriously reconsider the application, as the above comments in regards to noise, parking and alcohol on the premises are all unfounded. And don't get me started on how offensive it is for people to assume that our beloved pole dancing classes are for wanna-be strippers and "Exotic" dancers. That is a naive, uneducated and discourteous assumption.

  27. Emma Amos commented

    I take huge offence to the comments made by Justin. I am not a stripper or have any desire to be one. I wear the same clothes to my pole classes as I would to a standard gym. I can only assume that Justin never visits beaches or swimming pools with the objections he has to 'scantily clad' women. Obviously all his experiences involving pole dancers must've been in an erotic setting as I cannot understand how else he is jumping to these conclusions. Maybe his wife could attend some classes (as men are not allowed to attend and neither are spectators) so as to adequately understand what pole princess is about.
    It is 2014 and this is a fitness facility. In the interest of public health this should be approved.

  28. Sarah Schrader commented

    I am writing to express my sadness and anger in regards to the Boroondara Council rejection of the planned moved of the Pole Princess Studio from Kew to Hawthorn.

    Pole Princess Studio is a reputable business that has been operating WITHIN the Boroondara Council since 2006! How can a move of less than 5km mean that the FITNESS studio that I love be closing???

    Pole Princess is a dance and fitness studio! There is nothing untoward that happens behind those walls. There are no women strutting around topless and sleazy men sitting in the corner drinking and stuffing money down our shorts. If you bothered to take a look at what we do at Pole Princess you would find groups of women of all shapes, sizes, ages, demographics working out in a fun, friendly and safe environment. Sure we use a vertical pole but it’s not different to a woman who goes to the gym and uses the chin up bar to gain strength.

    Pole Princess is not an “inappropriate” establishment that will attract “trouble” and “undesirable” persons to the area. It does not pose a risk to families and the community!! It is a studio filled with like minded women who have sought out and found an alternative form of fitness. Are you telling me that the 45 year old lawyer in the class is “trouble” or the 27 year old nurse is “inappropriate” or the 18 year old university student is “unsafe” or the 32 year old school teacher is a “risk” for the area?!?!?!?!!?

    I cannot adequately express what Pole Princess means to me. I have come to think of this place as my second home and the staff and students as my extended family! I have been with Pole Princess as a student since 2009 and have worked there as a teacher since 2011 and I love every single second of it. It has provided me with a source of income and stability in my life. If you were to close it down not only would I be heartbroken but I would also be financially disadvantaged.

    I sincerely hope the Boroondara Council will reconsider the objections for the planned move and allow Pole Princess to operate as it has done since 2006 down the road in Kew

  29. Natalia commented

    I have worked for Pole Princess for over 3 years and have had the blessing of an opportunity to see pole fitness change women. Not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually and psychologically. I have never been part of an establishment that offers so much support to their clients.
    I encounter students ranging from young adult to their 60's and all come to Pole Princess trusting us to help them improve their life through fitness and support. Losing Pole Princess Kew/Hawthorn takes away those clients' ability to shut out any negative feelings/external negative factors and for an hour or more, focus on their self-improvement and growth as women.
    Not only that, but, the staff here who work so hard to inspire women, lose their way of life and for some their sole income.
    This is a fitness dance studio for women. They deserve to have the option to train at a closed location where the outdated stigma for pole dancing gets left in the minds of narrow-minded people and not brought into the studio.

  30. Jay commented

    WOW - is all I can say to Justin, Heather, S.Graheme & Kathy. I am completely and utterly shocked at how uneducated you all are, with comments like that. I strongly recommend that you do some thorough research on the subject before making such uneducated comments. Upon reading - I can 100% guarantee that not one of you have ever stepped foot into a pole dancing studio.

    I started pole dancing many years ago, loving working out at Pole Princess so much I then became a instructor and have been a instructor for over 4 years now. I am not an erotic stripper - I am a Pole Dancing Instructor. The fact that you are implying that I am a stripper is disgusting - and you should be extremely apologetic to all the women that you have offended by saying that, including me. SHAME ON YOU.

    I started Pole Dancing because as a young mum I wanted to get fit and do so in an environment where I felt safe and comfortable. I tried Pole Dancing and it was perfect for me. Classes later on a night so I could put the little one to bed and then come out and do a class. I felt safe and comfortable as the studio is females only with no males around. How is this a safety risk to families? Look - I lived 2km's from the studio in Kew and once got my house broken into, but surprisingly - the Police didn't say that it was caused by the Pole Dancing Studio up the road...

    A large number of parents at my daughters school that have tried Pole dancing at Pole Princess and continued because they loved it as a form of fitness - is testament to the fact that it is not sexual or erotic - and guess what - they are ratepayers too. They don't believe that it will bring down the value of the neighbourhood - they in fact want more in the area and closer to their homes! but for you - one person - it devalues the area? working in real estate - i can tell you that a Pole Dancing studio will not devalue your property!!!

    As for the claims of the pornographic images that your children shouldn't have to see - let me just say this - I hope that none of you walk around your house in your underwear, get changed in front of your kids, have your children walk in on you in the shower or - worst yet - I really hope you don't take them to any public pool, because you know people at the pools wear less than what we do....

    As a resident in Hawthorn for over 9 years, with a child who attended creche/kinder in Hawthorn, attended Hawthorn West Primary School her entire primary school life, I worked on Burwood Road Hawthorn for a Project Development Company for over 9 years and a husband who works in Hawthorn for over 13 years, I know the troubles with Parking in the area. Living on Power Street in Hawthorn, many days I would have to park my car a long way away from house! Working on Burwood Road, meant parking my car up the street and moving it every two hours... Managing a lot of properties and being involved in a number of developments built directly in the Hawthorn area, I hate to inform all four of you, but the parking issue within the municipality will NEVER go away!

    Denying the application is going to result in a large community of women not being able to go to a place that for some, find pole dancing as a way to escape, relax and immerse themselves in music, for others its to work out and have fun in a fun, safe environment with no judgement. Not to mention the money lost for the owners and for us teachers who rely on this income to support our own families. Pole dancing has become a huge part of my life and I always look forward to going to teach every class and seeing everyone of my students progress along the way.

    Jay

  31. Ashleigh Williams commented

    I am writing to you in regards to the pole princess studio in Hawthorn.
    In my personal opinion I am amazed at how some tiny groups of close-minded ego drivers, who still believe that the pole dancing we do is 'erotic' and that we run around half naked wearing masks, functions in society.

    If anyone has read the newspapers, read anything to do with pole dancing online or anywhere in the last 10 or so years you will notice that there has been a shift in the general public perception of pole dancing. For example ACA did a story on Pole princess and how amazing the weight loss results were for the women who followed a weight loss program. It was so inspiring and to see all those women and how confident they all were.

    Pole Princess is in the business of empowering performance art and celebrating womanhood. It's am amazing way to stay in shape!
    I am a current student and attend more than 4 classes on average per week! I love my classes because I can walk into any pole princess studio and instantly feel good about myself. I feel confident and like I accomplish something. The teachers, franchisees, students, everyone even everyone's friends and families are so supportive and amazing.
    It is a professional environment as well as an exciting opportunity for anyone involved.
    Pole Princess are much classier than the negative side are portraying. I ask people who work for the council. Spend a day in the shoes of us pole princess' and it will soon put all those negative comments to rest. I think you will be amazed that it's nothing like you've heard of before! Go pole princess! Xxx

  32. Tahlia Schumacher commented

    Do not decide the fate of this application based on the fact its a pole studio. There is nothing wrong with pole dancing, erotic or otherwise. If you are concerned about people behaving erotically behind closed doors then I pity you.

    I could point out all the differwncea between dancers and "strippers" but I shouldnt need to as there is also nothing wrong about strippers.

    If you do not like to pole dance then please do not attend the studio.

    They pay for their space just as you have to pay for theirs. If they arw not breaking any laws then you need to accept that the studio has the SAME RIGHTS THAT YOU DO.

    Provides that the pole studio is within their rights and are acting legally, I see no reason this applicatoion should be denied.

  33. Melissa commented

    Firstly, I must say a big thank you to the people who have made stupid assumptions and idiotic comments about what it is we do a Pole Princess. You have certainly made me laugh!
    I recently became a member of Pole Princess in Mount Waverley and I am happy to say it is the best decision I have made in a long time.
    Pole Princess is an energetic, caring community made by women for women. It is a safe place to exercise, and all shapes and sizes are welcome.
    There are professionals, administration assistants, swim coaches and mothers in my class, none of whom are "pornographic erotic dancers".
    The sheer talent and strength it takes to pole dance surprises me in every class and week by week I am feeling more confidence and stronger in my body.
    I have trained in a gym, with a personal trainer and at an MMA club and none of these come close to the effort and dedication needed to train in pole dancing.
    I urge the council, and the close-minded nim-wits to reconsider their views and actions and realise this has nothing to do with stripping or pornography, but more to do with empowering women of all shapes and sizes.

  34. Jess Highman commented

    Would you say no to a gym? No! Would you say no to a dance studio? No! How is this any different! Its a form of fitness and dance. It is not a strip club.. there are no men on the premisise. It is simply and purely a form of exercise with the aid of a pole. Journalists, nurses, students and all forms of women of all backrounds ages and races attend the colours. All the teachers are supportive and proffesional and clothing is worn in every single class.. no one gets naked and no one is doing anything innapropriate. I love pole dancing and i dont no what i would do without it.. its my happy place.. it gives me confidence, keeps me fit and is one of the funnest things i have ever participated in. To not allow them to open would just be incredibly narrow minded and old fashioned. What is worn and what is performed is no different or more "erotic" than any other dance form

    Jess h xx

  35. Sheldon commented

    Re: PLANNING PERMIT REFERENCE NO: PP14/00349
    I write in connection with the above planning application. I wish to offer my support to the proposal, for the reasons outlined below.

    I have been a student of Pole Princess Dance Studio for 3 years. It is my main form of exercise after an injury left me unable to run. I am employed full time as an analyst. I can assure you that I, along with my classmates are certainly not “undesirable” clientele, and pose no “possible risks to the safety of the family community”. Attending Pole Princess has allowed me to regain my fitness, developed my confidence, encouraged social interaction and helped me to form some great friendships.

    The site chosen is a convenient location. As per the parking assessment provided with application, there is ample parking and public transport facilities.

    I am aware of a small minority within the community that have an inaccurate perception of the activities that would take place on site. I would encourage any objectors to come to a class and see that this is not a seedy adult entertainment business. This is a dance studio that promotes health, fitness, teamwork and artistry.

    The Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 legislates local governments responsibility for health and wellbeing planning which includes participation in physical activities as a key priority. The Boroondara Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2009 - 2013 provides Council with a clear direction on the health and wellbeing priorities for the Boroondara community. A clear objective within that plan is to "...encourage people to be active and participate in community life". Pole Princess encourages people to be active and participate in community life.

    The Active Boroondara Report states that Council recognises that “participation in physical activity brings about a range of personal, social and economic benefits for individuals and communities” (Active Boroondara Report 2010 – 2015). Within that report, Council committed to “support leisure providers i.e. clubs, organisations, community groups”, and to “work in collaboration with providers of leisure programs and services, through facilitation, advocacy and where appropriate provide support”. (Active Boroondara Report 2010 – 2015) This is a superb opportunity for the council to achieve their outlined objectives by showing their support for a business that encourages fitness, strength, health and wellbeing among women in its community.

    Boroondara council’s strategy notes that “we are proud of our vibrant culture that promotes an array of artistic, sporting, recreation and lifelong learning opportunities” (City Of Boroondara arts and cultural strategy 2008-2013). I encourage you to continue promoting such opportunities. When the benefits are so great and there is no harm to existing businesses, it makes good sense to support the Pole Princess Dance Studio.

    Regards,

  36. Amber Cappelletti commented

    I have been a student of Pole Princess for 2.5 years. I am a resident of Kew and a ratepayer of Boroondara and I would like my council to approve our studio moving to Hawthorn east.

    It does not matter whether or not this is a pole dance studio the apparatus used should not affect whether it be opened or not but the archaic, offensive, selfish and uneducated views of Justin and Heather Morris are disgusting.

    I'm a web designer and programmer full time (not an "erotic dancer" would you believe!) and I work with a whole range of wonderful women in different fields including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, marketing executives, banking and media professionals and even mums.

    Please listen to reason and let us have our studio open.

  37. Anna Cincotta commented

    Pole princess is an amazing organization, I remember my first ever class and how nervous I was at the Kew studio, all the teachers and other students were so welcoming it lifted my self esteem very high. This is solace women can go to have a workout and feel empowered! Don't even think of taking that away! There is nothing smutty about it!

  38. madeleine grant commented

    I am writing in regards to the application of Pole Princess being denied. The objections that have been listed above all have a common theme- grievances with both the type of business, and with the clientele it attracts. I understand there are many misconceptions and stigma’s attached with pole dancing, however, there is a stark contrast between the stereotypical pole dancing in a mens club, and the sport of pole dancing.

    One individual suggested that the clientele are ‘undesirable’ and could pose ‘possible risks to the safety of the family community’. I would like to quash this perception. I am a Boroondara City Council resident and have been for over a decade now. I am in my final year of a bachelor of law/ bachelor of International relations. I have worked part-time in hospitality whilst studying, in the Boroondara area. To those objecting, I have also probably been a babysitter to yours, or some of your friends’ children. I currently volunteer at a legal centre as a paralegal, working in human rights law/refugee law.The other women attending my class are also from a vast array of backgrounds, all of whom I consider to be intelligent, kind and talented individuals.

    I was a gymnast for 11 years, then after numerous injuries I was forced to quit. I spent a few years searching for another sport that gave me the same enjoyment until a friend suggested I try pole dancing. I fell in love with it straight away. It uses the same techniques, movements and muscle groups as gymnastics. Like gymnastics, it requires a mixture of strength, grace and aerobic fitness. Pole dancing is just like any other form of dance (or gymnastics).

    For those who have ignorantly suggested that it this dance studio is ‘inappropriate’ and that it will attract ‘trouble’, I urge you to rethink this. Pole dancing is a sport. It can also be an art form- with many of the instructors being amongst the best in Australia. To deny this application on the basis of a misconception about what the sport actually entails would be unjust. It would infer that myself and the countless other women are partaking in erotic, pornographic and suggestive activities. It is an unmerited and unjustified accusation- one that I find incredibly insulting, not just personally but to the sport itself.

  39. Jess R commented

    I cannot believe some of the things I am reading. Are people today really so uneducated as to assume that a pole and aerial fitness studio actually means a strip club is setting up shop?

    Mr Morris, your comments are laughable. I find it shocking and incredibly sad that you, and many of the locals in Boroondara, have made absolutely no effort to educate yourselves in any way.

    First off, this is a dance and exercise studio. I trust you understand exercise means moving your body around? What exactly about pole fitness does one find so offensive? When I work out at my regular gym, I often wear sports bras and tight leggings. Is this also offensive? Should my local gym be shut down, in fear of attracting an unsavoury man who may stare at me, or children who have never seen a woman in leggings before?

    Unfortunately, it's clear many people have decided to simply react instead of investigating. Has anyone here done pole before? Have you tried aerial? Do you understand the health benefits involved in such exercise?

    If the sign offends you, then I understand. I'm sure the owners of Pole Princess would be more than happy to alter this to something more suitable for the area. But to the many people trying to shut down a business simply because they do not understand what this business is, I am ashamed to be a part of your community.

    You can be assured that if this application is rejected, you will lose hundreds, if not thousands of customers within your council limits. I for one refuse to support any local business in Boroondara from this point forward.

  40. Gii commented

    I have been a student of Pole Princess for two and a half years now. Amongst my Honours at Uni and work, it is the only opportunity I have to socialise and have fun for fitness. There are hundreds of girls who attend the studio in similar situations. The assumption that pole dancing attracts 'troublesome' clientele could not be further from the truth - Pole Princess is a community made up of ladies from all walks of life, many of whom reside in the Boroondara area.

    Should Pole Princess Hawthorn be denied its application, many students, including myself, will lose our primary support system and the place we come to relax, exercise, feel confident and most of all, be accepted.

    Pole Princess is a comfortable, supportive and inspiring environment. The proposed business is in no way breaching any laws, hence why should it be denied?

  41. Ellen Lewis commented

    I am writing to tell you how much Pole Princess has changed my life and how I ask for you to allow it to operate in Hawthorn.

    I am 32 and work full time in the Marketing Department in Retirement Living for Australian Unity. I have lived and owned a property in East Kew for five years. I live with with my husband, a Primary School teacher, we shop at Leo’s, Toscano’s, Joyce and Son butchers and love our area. A bonus for me is discovering Pole Princess.

    I was feeling pretty flat about two years ago and felt I needed to do something different, something for myself. I didn’t want to do boot camp or the gym (was a member of Kew YMCA but I resented going) – been there done that, I wanted to do something fun that would help keep me fit. I always drove past Pole Princess at Kew junction and started looking into it. It was close to home, on my way home from work, close to friends and family and convenient.

    So I quit the gym and joined up. I joined Pole Princess in May 2012 and it has changed my life.

    I am fitter, stronger, healthier and most of all happier. I started off going once a week, I now go five days a week and have made some wonderful friends. Everyone has seen a change in me and my parents, family and in laws are so proud of my achievements – and jealous that I have found something that makes me so happy. I recommend it to family, friends and work friends - anyone.

    The positive environment Pole Princess creates is like nothing I have experienced. The encouragement from teachers, staff and students is amazing. It is a non-competitive environment where every female, of any age, background and ability is treated with respect, kindness and it is FUN. I just love it.

    But it is the location, the network of the teachers and the owner who make it. It is reason why I stay at Pole Princess Kew and not go to another studio. Plus other studios are too far away for me to get to.

    Please allow Pole Princess to open in Hawthorn and keep hundreds of happy women off all ages and professions (full time professionals, Nurses, Managers, students, Mums, teachers, doctors, business owners, designers, academics, dentists! – the list goes on) coming to the area and continuing to love their community for the life and opportunities it offers them.

    Ellen Lewis

  42. Bayah Creighton commented

    This is a form of exercise. Do people not realise this? They clearly state THEY ARE A DANCE STUDIO! There is nothing stated about sexual or erotic dancing. They also offer many other forms of dance - not just pole dancing. What about those that go here as they are too nervous to go to a gym or anywhere else to exercise? Think about those that use this studio and those that are employed here before having a winge about it. Its not a bad thing wanting to go dance for exercise.

  43. Bennet Alexander commented

    I am a 25 year old male - born, raised and still residing in Hawthorn. I am writing to you after being made aware through social media streams of the stand-off between the proposed Pole Studio at 58 Camberwell Rd, Hawthorn and some concerned public.

    Personally I have no problems with a dance studio being opened in my neighbourhood. No matter if they dance on floorboards, in a tu-tu, on their head, or on a pole, I believe any form of exercise needs to be encouraged in our community. We need to help inspire and entice woman to feel beautiful and stay active, and if Pole Dancing is the answer to this - then all glory to them. From what I see online Pole Dancing has developed a mass following and thus a high level of competition has arisen, with plenty of Pole tournaments being advertised at leading performing art centres. The clients of these establishments should be able to practise their sport like any other gymnast or athlete – in maintain the exact same fundamental core elements of strength, endurance, technique and flexibility.

    I see a connection ignorant people in the community are making between pole and stripping, but the roots of pole dancing are from circus arts, when the central pole of the big top was used by performers. Its only since American influence in film that the performing art was adapted to bars and gentlemen’s clubs – giving this beautiful and gracious gymnastic sport a negative connotation.

    I employ you to speak to operations managers at the proposed establishment and take time to make a proper and informed decision. As I believe declining any dance studio in our suburb for having some pop-culture connections to strip clubs, is just outrageous and unjust.

  44. Leigh Penfold commented

    I write in support of Pole Princess' application to commence trading in Hawthorn following the closure if it's Kew studio for residential development.

    I moved to Melbourne in 2011 and although I had undertaken pole dancing for fitness previously, it wasn't until I found Pole Princess that I fell in love with the sport. The environment created and fostered by Anastacia, her team of fantastic instructors and my fellow students has seen me expand my Melbourne based friendship circle exponentially to the point where I consider them my Melbourne family. I now have a safe, supportive and encouraging place where I can take refuge to "dance away my cares" when life delivers it's little knocks or to share my joy and excitement with likeminded women when a little "life win" crosses my path. I am continually amazed and heartened when I experience or witness the outpouring of excitement and congratulations from fellow students when a classmate conquers a new challenge or one they have been working on for what seems like forever sometimes - this sport is HARD! Sometimes this encouragement comes from a passing student from another class to whom you have never previously spoken but who is a fellow "Princesses" - we are all FAMILY.

    The pose featured on the sign under objection is used in our warmup and is quite possibly the best back stretch I have ever experienced. What I haven't yet mentioned is that prior to undertaking classes at Pole Princess I suffered from chronic back pain courtesy of a car accident when I was 18 years old. Nearly 19 years later and my crippling back and headaches have now decreased significantly in frequency and magnitude to the point where I am no longer rendered incapable of venturing past my bedroom door for days on end. This is all thanks to the fabulous Pole Princess instructors who are trained to ensure an adequate warmup at the commencement of each class, a safe and balanced technique is used during instruction and appropriate after class care instruction is provided.

    Far from wanting to learn how to dance erotically, Pole Dancing was recommended to me after a 10 year search for a form of exercise to replace netball which was removed as an option following 2 knee reconstructions. Thanks to Pole Princess I swiftly lost the 20kg gained during that search and I am now in the best shape of my adult life with developed leg muscles which support my knee and mean daily knee pain is no longer something I need to live with.

    My "non-pole friends" have certainly noticed the difference in my physical, mental and emotional strength to the point where several have requested and attended introductory classes with me to see how this has been possible. The comments at the end of these classes are always "that was fun, no wonder you love it so much", following inevitably the next day by "my muscles are so sore, I haven't used them like that in years, what a great form of exercise". In fact, several of these friends have now taken up pole sport themselves.

    Far from detracting from the area or making it unsafe, the Pole Princess staff and students actually inject funds into the local community. On top of my pole course fees, I spend approximately $30 per week on the way to/from classes on petrol, groceries, refreshments etc. I live several suburbs away so rejecting this application will effectively remove $150 per year from your local businesses. That may not sound like much but there are hundreds of Pole Princess students who I daresay spent a similar amount or more way week at neighbouring businesses.

    As for the objection to scantily clad and undesirable women congregating in the area, I am often amused by the faces of the small minority of motorists passing the Kew Junction location expecting to see skinny, scantily clad "strippers" with perfect hair/makeup exiting the building but instead they see physically strong women who are fully clothed in often sweaty gym gear with their face and hair looking like they've just done an intensive workout - because we have!

    Pole Princess are family to me and I sincerely hope that your decision doesn't lead to my local family becoming homeless.

  45. Andrea Mackay commented

    I am a pole princess student and I am writing in support of the studio opening in Hawthorn.

    I have been a pole princess student for little over a year now and in that time I have gone from being overweight, unhealthy and unfit to having a body in a healthy weight range that I am proud of. Pole princess enabled me to take control of my weight and to lead a much healthier lifestyle.

    I am a university student, studying criminology and psychology and working part time in the Emergency Department of a major metropolitan public hospital. I am offended and disgusted to read the comments stating that this studio would attract 'undesirable clientele' and hinder the safety of the family community. The group of women who attend pole princess are made up of teachers, nurses, police women, personal trainers, nannies and housewives, who engage in the physical activity of pole princess that not only encourages fitness but provides them with a social interaction and emotional support that promotes a healthy mind and body.

    It saddens me to live in a society where discrimination and judgement is now surrounding a fitness activity. Descriptive words such as 'erotic' humour me beyond imagination. When I see women who attend pole princess sweaty and red, decked out in their gym attire, erotic is last word one would use to describe the scene of pole princess.

    But none of this matters, at the end of the day the ladies of pole princess can walk away from this ordeal with their heads held high and proudly look upon the accepting and welcoming community they have developed together. To those of you who judge and feel the need to exclude these powerful everyday women from your community, I invite you join us, and instead of dwelling on such narrow minded, negativity, exert yourself in something productive and come and have a little bit of fun.

  46. Natalie Care commented

    I have been pole dancing on and off for 5 years now in both New Zealand and in London and now Australia. I am not yet a member of poleprincess, but have been following them and am very disappointed that members of the public have complained. Some of the reasons such as noise disturbance for the offices upstairs I believe are relevant. As a pole sport athlete, I also agree with the complaints about the signage. It has always frustrated me that pole studios (not just poleprincess) use provocative advertising for a legitimate form of fitness- however the calls for the studio not to open because of this should not be taken into account as it is an issue that could easily be rectified in my opinion.

    When I first walked into a pole dance studio, I was blown away when I saw a girl who mustve been 100kg, doing pole tricks. This gave me the confidence to continue pole dancing and I went on to loose 20kg and to gain a lot of confidence.

    Since then, my fitness interests have extended. Now my main passion is the environment and I go out hiking or rogaining nearly every weekend. I also recently have taken up aussie rules football. I am also a member of the Hawthorn Aquatic and Leisure Centre and regularly go to the gym there. For me and for others in the pole sport industry, pole dancing is a sport and form of fun fitness.

    I am in no way what society would label as 'sexy' and could still do with loosing a few kgs, but I can honestly say that pole dancing changed my life, and I hope the Boroondara community will accept us.

    Please watch a youtube video from the international pole sport federation championships- an event I attended while in London. These videos are of a sporting event, and the lack of pornography is apparent.

    Kind Regards

  47. Joyce Tang commented

    I have been a student of Pole Princess for over 3 years now and I have never found a form of exercise that I have enjoyed as much as this. I have a gym membership as well and I hardly go. I dedicate my time completely to pole dancing. It has made me feel so much about myself since I started and I can't even begin to imagine stopping this.

    I write in support of Pole Princess' application to commence trading in Hawthorn following the closure of its Kew studio for residential development.

    I'm completely appalled at comments calling us "potentially undesirable". We are not "strippers", we don't get paid to do this. I work very hard full-time as a designer and a manager for a clothing company and definitely do not deserve to be called "potentially undesirable". In fact, none of the girls who chose to go to Pole Princess to exercise should deserve this. It is completely disgusting. No one should ever be made to feel this way.

    What I think is potentially undesirable is closed minded people who go and judge everything straight away without doing any research.

    If you care to look into what sort of an establishment this is, it does not only teach pole dancing. It provides lesson in other dance styles, stretch classes and core strengthening classes which is the exact reason why it shouldn't be called "EXOTIC POLE DANCING STUDIO". It's not just pole dancing we do there.

    My relatives lives locally, pretty much down the road to where the Kew studio is located currently and they have never thought there was any inappropriateness to this establishment. Yes, they may have wondered what happens in there and it may look "sexual" but once I showed them what I did, it completely opened their eyes and was completely amazed at what professional pole dancers are able to do.

    If the signage is a problem, I'm pretty confident that the owner is more than happy to accommodate and put up a less "provocative" sign.

    All of us girls go there to simply enjoy a good work out, meet new people and I have met some very lovely girls there who works professionally for a living and FYI not as a stripper and many of them I have became close friends with. The teachers are wonderful and spend so much time helping us to build strength, gain confidence.

    Please open your eyes and your mind. Recognize pole dancing as a sport and just a place for us to be to help us feel better about ourselves.

    Thanks,

  48. Kathleen Mc commented

    I am a school teacher, a resident of the Boroondara community and a member of Pole Princess.

    Pole Dancing is an amazing fitness work out and is so much fun. Women of all ages, shapes and sizes call Pole Princess home and those making such negative complaints against the planning application have unfairly judged and demonized every single one of us.

    Pole dancing is not 'stripping' and Pole Princess is not part of the adult sex industry.

    And as for the complaint about the business' logo- I have seen far more 'pornographic' images all throughout Melbourne - images of women clad in bikinis far skimpier than the lady in the Pole Princess logo are all over the place. (Apparently that's fine for families and children to see though, it's only when there is a pole in the picture that it becomes a problem. Double standard much?)

    I hope for the 'complaintees' sake that they don't bring such a judgemental and narrow minded attitude to everything they do. What a sad, lonely way to go through life.

  49. Bridget Murray commented

    I have been personally affected by images all my life, triggered into feeling uncomfortable about my body. This year marks my 5th year with Anorexia Nervosa and 12 months ago I was given the "okay" by my dietitian to go back to exercise. I could never bring myself to step into a gym ever again. So I went to Pole Princess and for the very first time I felt comfortable in my body, learnt how to exercise for fun (rather than burning calories and losing weight) and got to see photos and people in real life dancing who were all shapes and sizes. I learnt how to have a healthy body image which is incredibly hard to do in today's society with the influence of media.

    By rejecting this permit you are taking away not only a positive empowering space for women, but something which has been incredibly helpful with my and many other people's mental health. I have lived in Boroondara my whole life and have always been proud of the diverse culture we have, but now I feel embarrassed to say I live here when they won't let a DANCE STUDIO open up because it might be too provocative. I feel embarrassed that the council has let narrow-minded views decide the fate of a much loved place.

    Get your shit together please.

  50. Jade commented

    I think that perhaps Heather and others (not recommended to men) you had better try before you deny?
    It seems that all your comments are directed at the nature of the studio itself rather than the function of the business. Why do you care so much if it's a pole dance studio? Is it because you directly associate strippers with pole dancing? If you've ever opened your mind and been to a strip club, you would know strippers use pole dance poles for nothing. Girls are not going to be walking around half naked in the streets of your town, be realistic. I CHALLENGE YOU HEATHER! To take ONE CLASS at this business's multiple other successful studios and see for yourself.

    If this was a second business, that had all the same planning issues yet, it wasn't a pole dancing studio? I'm sure you wouldn't think twice about it.

    You have a fight with a group of very strong minded women on your hands here.

  51. Peter Viney commented

    There are many perspectives on this complaint from the perspective of the women who attend the various Pole Princess studios. I would like to lend my perspective as the boyfriend of someone who attends.

    It is frankly offensive to state that any one of these women is a lesser person because of their decision to attend Pole Princess. This business is solely interested in the health and fitness of women, and should be regarded as any other fitness studio. What does it matter whether the forms say "dance studio" or "pole dance studio"? I believe the word dance still features! My girlfriend and three of her friends attend Pole Princess in Mitcham. In the time that they have been there the boost to their self esteem, fitness, and even their friendship has been indescribable. My girlfriend feels happier and healthier thanks to this amazing business. The ladies come and go dressed appropriately, in a jumper and either trackies or leggings. This includes every woman I have seen come and go from the business and every single one of them has displayed a respectful manner concerning the businesses surrounding the studio.

    As for Justin's complaints related to parking and the phones, firstly I expect that Justin will be entering a complaint for every business that applies to use this space, as ANY business that occupies the space will have to use parking. The phones as stated by many above are the phone company's problem and not the problem of Pole Princess.
    The complaint about the sign is also just clutching at straws. I have seen the company sign before many times when dropping off my girlfriend and her friends. The woman featured in the image is wearing a crop top and short shorts. I believe if you went a few doors down to the fernwood that Justin stated is there, you would find similarly clad women also working out. Relating it to an image of pornography is ludicrous. If you believe this is an issue of pornography, I expect you to take up the issue of in appropriate images with every Coles, Safeway, news agency and petrol station that sell magazines showing far more inappropriate images than this on their shelves instore, all within view of any child who walks past.

    Furthermore, Pole Princess is ONLY for women. I do not spectate and have never made an attempt to spectate. As stated previously, this business is a fitness studio, NOT a strip club. It is a business that deserves the same respect as the gym down the street and the architect's office upstairs.

  52. City of Boroondara commented

    No decision has been made at this time. Officers are still assessing this application and Council is obliged to make a decision under the Planning and Environment Act. This act limits the issues to be considered to planning matters, such as amenity impacts, car parking and traffic generation.

    Community perceptions about the nature of the business or those who participate in the service offered by the business are not relevant planning considerations and will not form part of Council’s decision making process. This application is likely to considered at a public Urban Planning Special Committee in July.

    City of Boroondara - Communications and Engagement Team

  53. Margarita S. commented

    I'm not a student of Pole Princess Kew currently, but I went there for aerial silks and acrobatics classes about a year ago.

    I would like to add a couple of facts from my experience.

    1. I am doing a PhD in Engineering. Other women I met in the studio either study at university or have some kind of professional career.

    2. Dressing recommendations are based on the activity/apparatus and its requirements. In particular, I was recommended to cover legs (full length leggings or similar) and at least upper arms. Aerial tissues can cause irritation and even burns if protective clothes are not worn during training. Shorts and top/tank are required for pole fitness classes because skin grips on the brass, and fabric slides. This is not an aesthetic preference, but just the technical grip requirement.

    I also think that any business onsite (including consulting) brings some traffic. Fit girls generally do not mind to park at some distance and walk to the car. Not sure about "more respectable" (and likely less fit) clients of some other enterprise taking the spot. Also I would like to mention that most of the classes run after hours (from memory 6.30pm+). This would allow relocating some traffic from the busy business hours to the time after the pick hour, comparing to some other business possibly occupying the same space and attracting the traffic during usual business hours.

    I support the pole studio application.

  54. Ella Svensson commented

    Upon hearing from my partner that the relocation of pole princess Kew to the Hawthorn East studio is running the risk of being rejected I was baffled, and offended that the council would even consider such objections.
    I am a childcare worker, neuroscience student and current resident of Hawthorn East. The proposed new location of Pole Princess is at the end of my street, and I could not be more happy to welcome the business to my area.

    I am not a student of Pole Princess, nor have I ever been, but I am disgusted that a business may be barred from opening under the (false) and purely sexist accusation that anything that may empower women physically and (possibly) sexually is to be frowned upon.

    Pole dancing attracts mainly middle/upper class (due to high class fees) women. This demographic contributes the least of any, to overall crime, and therefore the accusation that a pole dancing business attracts undesirable people is not only offensive, but completely inaccurate.

    I believe that if the council were to reject this application it would reflect badly on the character of those in charge, and would not represent the overall sentiment of residents in the area. I wholeheartedly support this application.

  55. Lee commented

    Our family go past this establishment at least 6 times every day I cringe every time I see the provocative image on the window. We have two children who should not be exposed to this inappropriate imagery, especially in a suburban area.

    This is sending the wrong message to young boys and girls. No product or service should resort to advertising using a semi naked female, no matter what they are attempting to promote!!

    I have no objection to pole dancing itself and do not care what they do inside but the advertising is totally unnecessary.

    Get rid of it... sick of looking at it!

    Lee

  56. Camilla Lloyd Jones commented

    Another place for those awful woman with there 4x4s,screaming kids,iPhones,gym gear/skin tights YUK. and take away latte's to hang out.I'm all for it if it gets the trash of our streets in Hawthorn.

  57. Stefanie Johnstone commented

    Pole Dancing classes are a great way to keep fit and have fun. I have no issue with such an establishment opening in our area. In fact, there are many people I know who would enjoy and benefit from these classes.

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