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Leah James Abel is Co-Founder, Executive Director, and Head Instructor of Circus Up, a Boston-based social circus program. She holds a Masters degree in Social Work from Simmons College and is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). Leah also (surprisingly) completed her Masters in Environmental Law and Policy at Vermont Law School.


Leah loves the circus world and is happiest there. Leah performs and teaches with the nonprofit organization Clowns Without Borders, which has sent her on several trips to Haiti, as well as to Palestine and Texas. Leah was a freelance performer and troupe company member in NYC for many years, perfecting her funny persona and aerial skills with companies such as Cirque Boom and Kirkos. For over two years, she frolicked and toured with Imago Theatre (Portland, Oregon), a mask and puppet theater company, with their shows Frogz and Biglittlethings. Currently, Leah works for the  Foundation of Laughter (formerly for Big Apple Circus) bringing smiles to children and their families at Boston Children’s Hospital. Leah also stilts at various events and locations, including Fenway Park, and performs aerials all around the Boston area at corporate, community, and college events with her doubles partner, Molly Baechtold- as Baechtold and Abel.


Leah has a glorious time teaching aerials and other circus skills to kids and adults in and around the Boston area, and is happy to be part of the Esh and Commonwealth Circus Center communities.

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