Almost everybody enjoys circus shows. The circus offers a lot of enjoyable sights and fun activities. One of the highlights that you can only find in a circus and rarely elsewhere are the stilt walkers. They are amazing to look at not only because they look tall and towering but also because wearing stilts–much more, walking on stilts–is not a skill that everyone can acquire easily.
Not all stilts are worn like the way you wear shoes. With some kinds of stilts, you simply step on a foot rest of some sort, and that’s about it. Some types of stilts, though, require you to wear them as contraptions that should be secured to your feet or legs. Therefore, if you want to learn how to walk on stilts, the first thing you need to do is to know what the common types are and how they work. Read on for some tips and suggestions.
Hand-held Stilts. You see this kind of stilt usually among children. There are varieties of designs, though the basic is the same all throughout. Essentially, hand-held stilts are instruments that elevate their user and at the same time allow the user to control or guide the stilts using the hands. Thus, children often make stilts of this kind using tin cans and some string. They step on the cans, making sure that the string is in between the big toe and the “pointer” toe. Then, they hold the strings with their hands and pull them upwards as they walk on the cans. Another variation of this type of stilt is the wooden hand-held stilt. These are stilts with footholds somewhere near the middle of each stilt. You step on the footholds, hold the upper ends with your hands, and start walking.
Drywall Stilts and Spring Stilts. Drywall stilts are commonly used by those who perform wall plastering or wall painting jobs. They need it to reach higher areas of the wall that they are working on. Drywall stilts have “feet” and walking on them is not hard to do. Spring stilts are stilts with springs. The springs allow you to jump or bounce and do acrobatic tricks.
Peg Stilts. These are the most commonly used stilts in circuses. They are also called Chinese stilts. This type of stilt can be strapped to your feet, legs, and knees, thus allowing you more control and better movement because the stilts would feel like they are extensions to your legs. Also, the straps are usually belt straps, so they don’t really give you a hard time putting them on and securing them in place. In the circus, stilt walkers using these kinds of stilts usually dress up as clowns with really long legs. Their long pants also cover the stilts, thus making the clowns look really tall.
If you want to know how to wear and walk on circus stilts, the best way for you to go is to know first what the different stilts are, and then pick one that you think you can practice with, and just start practicing.