Town hall bosses have axed a child and adults keep-fit pole dancing class - because it is "not appropriate".

Brighton and Hove City Council bosses banned the 'Pole Dancing Passion' sessions from the King Alfred leisure centre - despite granting licenses for six fully nude lap-dancing clubs.

The classes, taught by dance instructor Ethan Kith, were axed despite proving a hit with men, women and even youngsters.

Kate Wright and Dawn Ford, who founded the Worthing-based company in 2003, have slammed the decision and accused the council of being "stuck in the dark ages".

In a letter, the council's acting head of sports and leisure Ian Shurrock wrote: "The nature of this activity is such that it is not appropriate for the classes to be held in one of the council's sports facilities".

The sold-out classes have already been running at the King Alfred for five weeks, but the council says it will not allow them to continue.

Mrs Wright said: "We wanted to use a sports centre rather than a private function room because it is a fitness class and to make people feel at ease.

"There is nothing sexual about it. It is a great way to get in shape, lose weight and gain in confidence.

"We even have a 13-year-old girl who comes along. It's a ridiculous decision and the council is stuck in the dark ages.

"They grant licenses for fully nude lap-dancing clubs, but then cancel a harmless fitness class. It's not seedy or sleazy at all."

Pole dancing has become a recognised form of fitness training and has been introduced to several gyms, including David Lloyd's in Brighton.

The council has granted licenses for six fully nude lap-dancing clubs across the city - Grace, the Pussycat Club, Rouge, Top Totty, the Honeyclub and For Your Eyes Only.

Mr Kith said: "I don't see how they can pull the classes without actually coming down to see what we do and how I teach. "We have everyone from single mums to teenagers come along and they love it. It is about confidence and toning up, we are not a training ground for lapdancers."

Rebecca Baker, 42, from Hove, started the course last month. She said: "I'm really disappointed. This has been one of the best forms of exercise I've ever done, and I felt at home because it was in a sports centre.

"The stigma attached to pole dancing should be a thing of the past, and all forms of exercise should be encouraged."

A council spokeswoman said: "After careful consideration Brighton and Hove City Council has decided not to continue pole dancing classes at the King Alfred Leisure Centre.

"Unfortunately pole dancing is associated with lap dancing and does have a seedy image with some people. "Therefore we took the decision that it is not an appropriate activity for one of our public leisure centres."

  • See the video here Do you think pole-dancing classes are OK? Comment below