The High Life: A History and Demonstration of Stilts

Presented by Dana Baird

From ancient Greece to the modern day, stilts have been used for work and play around the world, allowing their wearers to stand head and shoulders above the rest. Stilt performer and costumer Dana Baird will talk all things stilts, covering the following topics: 

  • History of stilts (AKA: Stilts in Space and Time) that describes the various ways stilts have been used for work (in orchards, hops fields, and shepherd pastures), play (including their popularity as a pastime for both children and adults in the 19th century), and performance (in circuses, parades, and festivals around the world). 
  • Types of stilts (including how they’re used and pros/cons of each). 
  • How stilts can be used to enhance costumes and cosplays. 

The presentation will include a demonstration of wooden peg stilts in action: Dana will put on two sets of stilts that attach in different ways, along with some varied stilt covers to show how they can be adapted for different characters/costumes.