Bitten by the ‘circus bug’ - Profile

Bitten by the ‘circus bug’

MARILYN HAWKES | Staff Writer | Posted: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 10:00 am

Circus School of Arizona owner Rachel Stegman admits that being a circus performer is a little “outside the box” when it comes to careers. But ever since she participated in circus activities at Club Med with her family as an 8-year-old, she’s had the “circus bug.” Then, at 16, she attended a circus program at French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts in the Catskill Mountains of New York and learned a few more skills and tricks.

Stegman, who grew up in Scottsdale and attended Valley Jewish Day School and Har Zion Congregation, went to Scotts­dale Community College and then to Lesley College (now Lesley University) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After Lesley, she became a professional dog walker in Boston and then worked as a counselor and circus coach at a camp in the Poconos, where she picked up some experience working with teens. At a crossroads in her life, Stegman considered which direction to take. “I did a lot of thinking and (realized) circus is what I wanted to do,” she says. “My mom said, ‘Stop talking about it. Just do it already.’ ”

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