Get to know Raising The Barre's President, Joanna. Read on to find out what the role entails and how you can be a part of the unique and wonderful things the club does.
1. What club are you in? Raising The Barre
2. Are there any additional clubs that you are involved with?
Not currently. (Maybe part of the Rainbow Club but I can't remember - and I would like to be part of other clubs like the photography club but I don't have time!)
3. What are you studying? Did it influence the club you joined?
I'm currently studying my honours year of Psychology. It definitely had an impact on Raising The Barre!
4. Why did you join this club?
I founded Raising The Barre in 2017, but couldn't implement it until 2019! When I was a teenager I went through some trying times and experienced poor mental health as a result of that. At that time, I really struggled to reach out and talk in fear of being judged because of the stigma that was surrounding me. I didn’t have the tools to adequality express myself through words. As I grew up a dancer, I did what I did best and created some choreography to show people how I felt. And while I wasn’t physically listened to, I felt heard. Because of that, I felt like I was ready to conquer my fears and talk to someone about what I’d been going through. There was a quote that really spoke to me at that time - Shane Koyczan says “If your heart is broken, make art with the pieces”. It took me a while, but I picked up the pieces and I drew up the design for Raising The Barre, using dance to express your mental health in a nonjudgmental space - because the truth is talking to people can be hard and scary for some. The way you express yourself is up to you! And now, as a group, we’re doing all we can to help others get through their challenges, as well as get rid of that stigma that so often stops people from reach out for help.
5. What's your role on the club executive? Explain.
I am the president, but the exec is all equal really.
6. What's the best thing about being a part of a club?
It's amazing that we get to reach so many young people and try to make an impact in their lives, help them seek help, give them a voice, give them the confidence to share or in their bodies as they explore themselves through dance, or give them a loving and caring community to come to when they need.
7. How can other students get involved in your club?
The best way to get involved is to sign up with us through USASA on our club page! You can also stay involved on our socials and keep up to date with our tips and choreography at home. We don’t just post choreography, we post information about mental health, tips for study, funny memes and more!
8. Have you gained new friends or made new connections through being in a club?
We have made many new connections with students who attend our classes. It's been amazing to be able to meet such a wide range of people!
9. What achievement are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of the fact that we can reach young people and help them through some really tough times.
10. What colour best represents your personality and why?
I know they're not technically colours but either watercolour blue/purple or black. Oddly specific I know, but the watercolours blue/purple mix is so like chill and calm. Most of the time I'm a big ball of stress, but oddly calm at the same time. The black represents the emo in me!
11. What would you like to get out of being in a club?
With this club, we just want to help people! So many people struggle to reach out for help in fear of being judged. So we want to give young people a safe space to reach out, and to give them a voice. Whether that is sitting down with people and having a conversation to get them in touch with professional help or give them the stage to communicate non-verbally. The great thing about using dance as a platform is that while it’s not only exercise, it’s also expressive. Dance allows people to share their experiences - good and bad – and communicate to others what it might be like to be in their world. It’s a way to communicate how you’re feeling without actually speaking, which opens up new ways for people to seek help, which is super important.
12. If you could start any club what would it be?
All the clubs we already have are amazing!!
Join Raising The Barre here.
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