Spotlight on scholarship winner, Jeraldine
From barre beginner to arabesque addict, Jeraldine’s story is one for the books. Her very first class at our Surry Hills studio was a total lightbulb moment. She felt beautiful, she felt powerful, and she found herself through movement – in every sense of the word. Please give a big (huge!) round of applause for Jeraldine, one of our 2022 Teacher Training Scholarship recipients.
Welcome, Jeraldine! What an honour it is to chat to you. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Jeraldine Medina-Allum, and I am a 31-year-old loud and proud transgender woman of colour. I was born Jeremy Medina and grew up between Australia and the United States. On my journey to becoming the woman I am today, I discovered Barre Body over five years ago in Surry hills. At this time many of the teachers and fellow students would remember me as the “barre boy” in the class. Yet it was here, at the barre, that I learnt the power of movement, and how movement can heal your mind, body and soul and create a safe space for your own self-discovery. This is where my inner voice took flight. I finally had the time to be still with my soul, and discover my inner feminine divine. At barre I learned to love my body and accept it – knowing who I truly am.
Wow, we are speechless (and trust us when we say that doesn’t happen often). What a moving story. What is it that attracted you to Barre Body in particular?
What attracted me to Barre Body? Well, I remember my first lesson with Britney Giles – it was a barre class, early Saturday morning at the Surry Hills studio. I was terrified, and the only male in the class. The moment we started our set, we plie-d we arabesque-d, I felt the little girl inside who loves ballet, who had practiced ballet when she was young, come alive. I saw her dancing in my imagination in the studio. I knew then that the studio was a place for my mind to connect to my body. Barre became a spiritual session for me that I shared with the other women there. When I learned to know who I was as a woman.
Such beautiful words. We’re so chuffed to have played a part in your journey. Why does the scholarship mean so much to you?
The scholarship means that I will be able to work towards helping other women and men find their inner child, their inner voice – and let that come to the surface. To allow them to move in unison with their whole selves. To be present. The scholarship will allow me to start to understand a bit more of my own journey and, in turn, how barre teachers can ignite the knowing inside of everyone. That knowing of how powerful, and how beautiful we are as humans. The knowing of what and who our bodies should be and are. Accepting your truth.
And what’s your relationship with movement?
For me, movement means connection with your spirit, mind and body. Movement is within the very cellular music of our body – telling stories in the song of an arabesque. It allows us to connect to every tissue and fibre of our being and realise how powerful, and strong we really are.
So well said. What are you most excited to get out of the training?
What I’m most excited to gain out of the scholarship is the tools to help others find their spirit through all the loud noise outside the studio room. Barre allows you to have one hour for yourself for you, and as a teacher we are giving back time to our students. Time that allows them to explore in a safe space.
What impact do you hope that your story has on your community?
I hope that in the greater community my story will help all women understand we are unique, that we need to find spaces where we can connect and share movement and stories with each other. That we are only stronger when we continue to build up each other through a shared dream. Barre helps create that dream, whether it’s to find fitness, a community of like-minded women or time for yourself – it’s where you are taking the time to be present in your body. We are all better when we connect with each other through the sisterhood of movement.