Resident Instructor Bios
Youth & Adult Aerial Levels II & III
“Keep the circus going inside you, keep it going, don’t take anything too seriously, it’ll all work out in the end.” David Niven
Rachel is the owner and founder of Circus School of Arizona. She grew up in Arizona and earned her Associates of Arts degree at Scottsdale Community College, graduating with highest honors as Valedictorian of her class. Shortly thereafter, she moved to Cambridge, MA to study Social and Cultural Studies at Lesley College (now Lesley University). At age 22, she decided to change directions and pursue her lifelong dream of becoming an aerialist instead. She moved to San Francisco, CA the following year to begin training with Gregangelo Herrera and other prominent circus arts coaches at the San Francisco School of Circus Arts (now called Circus Center, San Francisco). After training intensively for several years at both SFSCA and at Trapeze Arts in Oakland, CA, she became a performer and teacher of aerial acrobatics for adults and youth. Through Gregangelo & Velocity Arts and Entertainment, she contracted special events for the company as well as organized and taught summer camps at the Bay Area Discovery Museum and other local institutions. Rachel has become a sought-after coach in the industry because of her excellent training and her ability to encourage and develop the skills of her students of all ages. She works hard to keep the art form technically safe and holds her students to high levels of achievement. She has played an integral role in the careers of many professional aerialists both nationally and internationally, including the two current leads of Cirque du Soleil’s “KA”, a permanent show in Las Vegas.
Rachel currently teaches Master Private Classes and fills in as needed during regular classes. Rachel lives with her two young children, Zev and Ayla, so she is leading a true “three-ring-circus life”–balancing family, the circus school, and the special events company (CSA Arts & Entertainment).
Youth and Juniors Instructor
Guest Instructor Bios
Clowning / Juggling / Physical Theatre Instructor
“I strive to contribute to a more just and sustainable community via imaginative and virtuosic play.” –Brian
Youth Circus Instructor
“Bring the magic of the circus to your life! Circus skills are for everyone!” –Jens
Jens was a gymnast at Dartmouth College (Ivy League Champions in 1981!). Upon graduating he adapted his gymnastics skills, learned the joy of performing, and spent the next 19 years doing a multitude of acts in circuses all over the world. His specialties were aerial Roman Rings, comedy chairbalancing, handbalancing, and rola bola. Over the course of his varied career he performed both solo and group acts in shows on four different continents that ranged from the very small to the very large and ran the stylistic spectrum from traditional to contemporary. Jens has performed with the Big Apple Circus, San Francisco’s Pickle Family Circus, and with other circuses around the US and world-wide.
After retiring from performing, Jens obtained his teaching certificate and a Masters Degree in Secondary Education and spent 14 years as a teacher in the Phoenix Union High School District where he taught math and Academic Decathlon.
Jens has coached acts for the Royal Lichtenstein Circus and the Pickle Family Circus, he has taught gymnastics in New York and San Francisco, and recently coached the advanced summer camp program at Circus Harmony in St Louis.
Aerial Silks Fitness Creator/Instructor