Three Otago Girls' High School pupils really stand
out in a crowd.
Tara Neuman (17), her sister Mira (14) and Juliette McMullan
(15) have taken up stilt walking as a hobby.
Tara was the first to elevate herself to new heights about
five years ago after ''nagging''
Dunedin stilt walker Juliet Sorrel into teaching her.
She hasn't looked back since and has been joined by her
sister and Juliette to form a stilt-walking trio. They will
be at the high school's fair today.
Learning how to use the stilts is no walk in the park, and
begins with lots of support from hand holders on either side.
''With hand holders you don't fall over too much but you have
to practice falling.''
She said if she did have to fall it was best to do so forward
because then she could roll the impact along her feet, knees
That has not happened often and all three girls are now quite
proficient on their 1m-high stilts and are looking at taking
them to the next level.
''I am trying to get my dad to make metre and a-half ones,''
Getting on and off usually involves sitting on a car or a
fence and the main obstacle to watch out for is people.
''Twelve-year-old boys are the worst, they always say `can I
trip you up','' Tara said.
Juliette said the reactions from people - especially young
children - varied.
''Some kids just cry. Little kids are good at crying or
standing in awe,'' Juliette said.
Mira said stilt walking was a good way to keep fit and half
an hour at a time was usually as long as they could do it