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Church Gone Wild: Fitness Routine Combines Pole Dancing, Jesus

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — What does pole dancing have to do with Jesus Christ?

One fitness studio in Texas says “everything” — which is why they have combined a unique workout routine with traditional worship on the second Sunday of every month.

While pole dancing as a form of exercise has surged in popularity recently, “Pole Fitness for Jesus” invites female church-goers to slap on a pair of high heels and dance around a pole to upbeat Christian music.

“I decided to take the part that I liked about [exotic dancing] and bring it here, but it’s so much fitness, I don’t teach women to be strippers,” said Crystal Deans, former exotic dancer and owner/instructor of “Best Shape of Your Life” fitness studio outside Houston.

Deans offers the classes for free to women who bring in the bulletin from their Sunday church services — but there’s no prayer beforehand, and the walls are free of crosses or any other religious symbols.

Critics say the class is sacrilegious and goes against the teachings of the Bible.

But Deans contends she holds herself to a higher standard than popular opinion.

“God is the only person that judges so anybody who wants to judge me, feel free to but I’m good with God, so that’s what’s important to me and I really don’t care what people think,” said Deans.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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