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Dueling Vaulters

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A teacher tip for grades 4-8 that will be an instant hit at your next physical education performance/demonstration.
Submitted by Tom Bohan, Rochester, New York.


Dueling Vaulters is an exciting addition to any Physical Education show or demonstration. We have used it for years to close out our programs. The music is Dueling Banjos by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandell (Warner Brothers – BS 2683).

If you are not familiar with the music, the piece starts off with a single guitar chord, followed by an answering chord from a banjo. The instruments alternate, tentatively challenging each other with simple but varied riffs. About halfway through, the tempo increases until both instruments explode into full scale bluegrass pyrotechnics!

We have two lines of vaulters as shown.

The teacher/spotter stands close to the vaulting box. The first vaulter approaches the box and performs a squat or straddle vault over the box at the sound of the first chord – then proceeds to the end of the other line. The next vaulter from the other line performs a vault and also switches lines.

Your more difficult vaults can be done at this time because the tempo of the music is slower. At the midpoint, when both instruments begin playing together, it is important for the students to watch the teacher/spotter who will be giving hand signals to indicate when to approach the box.

Students sometimes become fascinated by the action at the box and can miss a cue by the teacher, causing a lag in the performance.

When done properly, one vault follows another in rapid succession, with vaulters cutting off the モtailヤ of the preceding vaulter.

Only the basic vaults can be done at this time because of the need to clear the landing areas quickly. As the music ends, we conclude with 2-4 students performing handspring vaults. At the end of the performance, all of the vaulters line up facing the audience and take a bow.

In closing, we hope this idea helps to vault your next Physical Education performance to new heights!

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