Stilt Walking - First Steps
This method of teaching / learning stilt walking is that traditionally
used in many small English circuses. It is based on the use of wooden
stilts described elsewhere.
The stilts, as described, are strapped to the outside of the leg, with a
wooden block under the instep. A further strap over the block holds the
foot tightly in place.
- Setting up the practice area.
Secure a rope at the height where it will pass comfortably under the
In the open, this might be between two trees, football goalposts, or
perhaps in a tent between tent poles.
In a school gymnasium, you may be able to use the uprights of the
ladder-like climbing frames.
- Stand upright, facing along the rope, with it safely under one
arm. This is for you to grab in case you lose your balance.
- First, practice "marking time", walking on the spot.
Each leg is lifted so that the stilt leg is about a foot above the
ground and then returned to the spot. This is repeated with the other
leg, shifting the weight from one to the other.
- After you have become used to the weight of the stilts and can
control them, you can try taking a few steps.
This is just the same as before, except that the foot is placed
You are now moving!
- When you reach the end, turn by pivoting on the leg nearest the
rope. Take short steps or steps on the spot with this leg and move
round it with longer paces from the other leg.
Until you have practice, the result of walking the nearer leg
"backwards" will be that you cross the legs and probably fall.
- Practice walking and turning until you are sure, and then have
someone stand several paces away from the rope. You can walk toward
that person who must be ready to catch you if you should fall!
Stilt Walking - First Steps /
Juggling Information Service /
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