There’s an exciting buzz in the community since the opening of Agnes Water’s very own circus and dance school last month.
Meraki Circus and Dance founder/director Rachel Butler is just as excited as her students about the new venture. And with talented local teachers Trish Martin and Adam Hughes on the team, it’s sure to be a success.
With students from ages 2 and up, the school offers an array of classes such as drama, dance and the ever popular circus class where students can learn skills such as juggling, hula hoop, tumbling, static trapeze, acrobatics, poi, slack line and clowning.
Rachel also hosts fun and unforgettable birthday parties!
And it’s not just for kids. Adults can join in the fun too with fitness classes and lessons in dance, fire spinning, acro-balance, trapeze and other circus skills.
Rachel also performs professionally, and often alongside her partner Adam Hughes. There has already been an influx of enquiries to provide entertainment for events in the Central Coast area.
So where did the name ‘Meraki’ come from? Rachel held a competition to name the school and this perfect suggestion came from Nita Siggins and her kids, Jaylah and Baily. Pronounced ‘meh-rah-kee’, it means ‘to do something with soul, creativity, or love, leaving a piece of yourself into what you are doing’.
Rachel said, ‘My goal is for everyone to find that passion and strive for ‘Meraki’ in what they are doing, so much so, that it becomes the natural essence of the school.’
Rachel is a local who grew up in Gladstone, and made Agnes Water her home in 2012 when she started teaching with Dance 4 Fun. It was this opportunity that allowed her to connect with the community in a creative way and fortified her decision to return and open Meraki Circus and Dance.
Rachel has been dancing and performing since the age of 4 and has also trained in sports acrobatics. At the age of 17 she moved to Brisbane to study Performing Arts at Griffith University and graduated with her Bachelors Degree. It was in Brisbane she discovered her passion for circus when she began to combine her love of dance, acrobatics and theatre. She undertook independent training at various circus schools and immersed herself in workshops in clowning, dance and trapeze.
Her most recent endeavour was a move to the UK where she trained full time for a year at the prominent Bristol-based circus school, Circomedia. Despite several setbacks with some serious injuries, she completed her training in Contemporary Circus and Physical Theatre with outstanding results.
‘It was a fantastic learning experience, not just from Circomedia and the skills I gained, but also from the rollercoaster of ups and downs that affected me with adapting to injuries and a completely new lifestyle… proving that regardless of tough times, we all still continue to grow and learn,’ Rachel said.
For more information and to get involved in all the fun please check out the Meraki Circus and Dance Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/MerakiCircusandDance, or phone 0413 964 314.