It’s true, the water wheel IS a skill you’ll be able to use for the rest of your life.

It might not help you with routine home repairs or be of much use if you find yourself lost in the Maine woods, but it will come in handy in every pool you encounter forevermore. While friends are practicing their ho-hum somersaults, you can wow ’em all with water wheels, back tucks, oysters and – dare to dream – barracuda thrusts.

Of course, there other reasons to sign up for an adult synchronized swimming class through the Portland Rec Department, like the opportunity to say things such as, “Tonight? I’d love to but I’ll be at sychro” or “As a synchronized swimmer, I must say, these nachos are delicious.”

Instructor Stacey Dand, left, and two synchro students from a previous class (nice caps, right?!) Greta Rybus photos.
Instructor Stacey Dand, left, and two synchro students from a previous class (nice caps, right?!) Greta Rybus photos.

Really though, this class is a load of fun. The instructor, Stacey, is a former competitive synchronized swimmer, so she knows her stuff. She’s also a solid teacher who knows we’re all here to have fun (read: The class is a perfect blend of have-a-good-time humor and let’s-actually-learn-some-cool-moves).

If your class goes anything like mine did a couple years ago, you’ll be hopping online to find floral swim caps and vintage swimsuits after the first few weeks (but none of that is required, of course. Still, you might find yourself getting into it).

And while competitive synchronized swimmers we see during the Olympics make the sport look easy, it isn’t. Just staying afloat in an upright position requires sustained effort (hello, eggbeater). Compile a few minutes worth of cool pool choreography, and you will be working hard/panting/feeling the burn.

But by the end of the session, you’ll have learned a whole routine, which you’ll get to perform, and you’ll have a whole bunch of sweet new moves to bust out in every pool you’re in for the rest of your life.

Because you’re a synchronized swimmer.

Watch the video from the synchro class in 2013

Adult Synchronized Swimming Class

6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 3 to Thursday, February 16
$56 Portland residents, $59.50 non-residents
FMI and to register (click “Adult” and scroll down): portlandrec.com
Class description: ” Are you a confident swimmer looking for something new and exciting to do in the pool? Now’s your chance to learn some of the moves the Olympic Synchronized Swimmers do! From “tub turns” to “dolphins” to “ballet legs”, you’ll explore all that is synchro with a former competitive synchronized swimmer, and current Water Safety Instructor and Lifeguard. At the end of the session, you’ll be able to perform a routine to music with your classmates! Both males and females alike will enjoy learning this fun, creative sport. ”

Featured image photo credit: Pierre-Yves Beaudouin / Wikimedia commons


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