Rachel Nehmer was introduced to circus arts at French Woods Festival at the age of 12. Despite her honest attempt to pursue a normal career path, earning her BS in Biology at Haverford College and taking a job in research at UW, she couldn’t stay out of the center ring for long! In 2004, she joined Lara Paxton’s aerial ensemble The Aerialistas. Soon after she began working with her now-husband Ben Wendel to create a trapeze duet right here at SANCA. Known as Duo Madrona, Rachel and Ben debuted at the 2005 Moisture Festival and have gone on to perform thousands of shows all over the world. Highlights include the prestigious Cirque de Demain Festival, an epic tour of Switzerland with Circus Monti, collaborative creation on two continents with Circus Syzygy, an appearance on French television with Patrick Sebastian’s Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde, and over a decade of dinner show productions with Teatro Zinzanni. Rachel’s coaching experience includes teaching at studios and schools throughout the region, such as Versatile Arts, Emerald City Trapeze Arts, Knotty Yoga, and more. At SANCA, she has worked as an instructor in the recreational program, the professional prep program, and as the director of Cirrus Circus youth company. She is so excited to be back on the SANCA team in a new leadership role.