Rachel has been involved with various Social Circus projects as a circus instructor and also as a coordinator for projects in many parts of the world. Most recently she has been coordinating Social Circus Circle in Toronto, as well as being one of the instructors and founders running programs in community groups in the GTA, TDSB alternative and public schools, and a youth drop in program at the AGO. She is also a certified visual arts and physical education teacher who enjoys combining the study of the arts and physical activity that is 'Circus'. Her introduction to circus arts began over 25 years ago at Main Space School of Circus Arts now the Toronto School of Circus Arts (Cirque Sublime) With her longstanding history, she joined the Harbourfront Centres' Circus Program run by Marsha Kennington, Mainspace founder, as an instructor and circus specialist. It was here she found her niche and passion, teaching circus skills as a tool for confidence building. She has continued performing but has focused on teaching ever since with a focus on social based instruction for at-risk youth and young adults. Rachel has performed at Toronto venues such as the AGO, Sony Centre for the performing Arts, and Skydome (Rogers Centre) and at events such as Wonderball Gala, City of Brampton New Years Party, and Special Olympic opening ceremonies.
She has can be found teaching at circus programs in Physical Education classrooms (including Heydon Park Secondary, Toronto) and other programs in North America (including Cirque du Monde, Hollywood, Los Angelas, CNEs 'Under the Big Top, Toronto) as well as in communities in many parts of the world including South Korea (YBM Sisa Themed Creative Program, Ilsan) Brazil (Pumbas Urbanas' Somos do Circo, Tiredentes, São Paulo) and Uganda (Integrated Community Efforts for Development, 'ICOD', Lyontonde). The diversity of her students has included working with individuals with various exceptionalities, with physical disabilities and with special needs. For the last 3 years she has been spending much of her time working on a Social Circus project, since it's early stages of development, training local instructors in 14 remote communities in Nunavik: a program called ‘Cirqiniq’. It is the result of a partnership between Kativik Regional Government and Cirque de Soleil's social action program; Cirque du Monde. She is also helping to launch ‘Square Circle’, also social circus project catering to the youth of Regent park, set to run out of the Daniel Spectrum Artscape Regent Park. She enjoys continuing to introduce youth to this diverse art both outside of Canada, various locations within Canada, and within her own community of Toronto.
Rachel is a certified visual arts and physical education teacher and brings these teaching skills to work alongside her social circus experience. The blending of the theory & content of visual arts and physical education captures what 'Circus arts’ is all about, creativity through visual imagery and the physical body. Her introduction to circus arts began at the age of 5, over 25 years ago in during the beginnings of Toronto’s circus arts scene and has since than performed throughout Ontario, and taught in classrooms and at risk communities in Ontario, as well as in communities Canada’s arctic and in many parts of the world including South Korea, Borneo, Brazil and Uganda. Rachel has shared the unique art of circus with those of many ages and abilities and enjoys continuing to introduce others to this diverse art within Ontario, and within her own community. Her strong background working with youth and adults with disabilities as well as urban youth at risk will allow her bring techniques of inclusion to the program.