Engineering + circus training = ?? The equation of play.

When I was 8 I talked of running away to join the circus.  By 15 I was far too serious to consider anything so frivolous, and enrolled in an engineering degree as a close alternative.

A decade after graduating, and following roles in organisational development, strategy, change, sustainability and even social enterprise, I found myself boarding a train to live out my childhood dream and train with Greentop Circus in Sheffield.

A third-life crisis perhaps?  (I didn’t tell my mother for a few weeks!)

Creativity inspires our personal lives: whether a performance, sculpture at The Tate, or a tango class, in our personal lives.  Art encourages conversation, reflections on human nature, and who hasn’t had a romance assisted by a carefully compiled playlist?

What, then, does creativity offer the sensible world of work? Creativity tends to be relegated to team-building days or opportunities for sponsorship.

In Sheffield I explored the place that performance and physical theatre have in business: the magical boundary where creativity and practicality meet.


Rachael West is a former engineer who ran away to the circus and became a speaker coach. Email for more.

Published by rachaelwest

Strategic Speaker Coach | Founder | Engineer

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