The Saipan Swim Club Dolphins will cap the 2014-2015 SSC Pentathlon Swim Meet with a demonstration on synchronized swimming this Saturday at the Kan Pacific Swimming Pool.
The SSC Dolphins are composed of the club’s Masters members and parents of SSC swimmers and have been practicing synchronized swimming for about nine months.
“In April of 2014, some Japanese moms whose children swim for SSC asked me to teach them synchronized swimming. So, informally we practiced approximately for half hour, three times a week during the Masters/Public swim sessions. Generally, 4 to 9 SSC Masters attended with a few SSC children periodically joining during the summer,” said Dolphins coach Suzy Kindel, who is assisted by Carol Lynn Pierce and has Atsuko Sato, Ayumi Kaga, Nami Kadokura, and Kaoru Takahashi as members.
Both Kindel and Pierce have experience in synchronized swimming, while the rest learned to swim when they were still in Japan and improved their skills here on Saipan under the guidance of SSC coaches.
Kindel was with a high school synchronized swimming club for three years and performed a duet, a solo, and in group routines. She also practiced on Guam in 1986 with a fellow high school swimmer and prepared and performed a routine for a local TV show.
Pierce, on the other hand, was in the sport for 10 years (7 to 17 years old) and participated in the annual show and performed the solo in her last year. Takahashi joined competitive swimming tournaments when she was in junior high, while Sato is a dive instructor, and Kaga and Kadokura took swim lessons in Japan and resumed classes at SSC Masters two years ago.
Though all six have experience either in synchronized swimming or related sports, Kindel said doing routines is not a piece of cake.
“We are doing only one routine, which is about 3 minutes long, but believe me it isn’t easy. Sculling, the backbone of synchronized swimming, is the hardest to teach and learn. Additionally, learning to scull in an upside down vertical position and descending in a straight line has been challenging,” Kindel said.
“During our regular Masters workouts, we would swim underwater along the bottom of the pool, do laps of the various kinds of sculling and several hundred meters of pulling limiting our number of breaths. All of these exercises assisted in building up our strength and breath control,” the 63-year-old and 15-year Masters veteran added.
This Saturday, Kindel and company will be performing a kip, two-man back dolphin, an Eiffel Tower, a front walkover, and an oceanita with a 180 degree twist.
“We will also be doing a ballet leg, the tub, pinwheel, marching legs, and torpedo sculling. This routine resulted from collaboration and team effort with everyone volunteering their expertise and time to selecting the music, preparing the choreography, and designing and sewing the costumes,” Kindel said.
The synchronized swimming demonstration will take place after the pentathlon meet, which will start at 8:30am.
“In the future we hope to expand synchronized swimming to all ages and perform more routines,” Kindel ended.