Synchronised Swimming used to be referred to as water ballet in the past. The reason is that the sport actually resembles ballet in water since athletes perform athletic movements choreographed wonderfully to music.
The sport may seem undemanding but in fact it is one of the most demanding since athletes are required to have great body strength and flexibility to be able to perform and synchronise perfectly with the music.
Although both males and female athletes are welcome to engage in the sport, it is a sport mainly dominated by women. This is due to the fact that the Olympics and Championship tournaments and competitions are not accessible to men.
Depending on whether the athletes perform solo or in a group, the length of the performance may range from two and a half minutes to five minutes. The actual routine is made up of specific moves that the athletes perform by using specific basic positions. The majority of the routine is performed under water.
Four main categories exist, the Solos, the Duets, the Teams and Combos. During the Solo, one athlete will perform his/her routine to music. Duets involve two athletes, where they are called to co-ordinate and perform to music. Teams are groups of athletes that perform synchronised routines to music. Generally, Teams consist of eight to four athletes. During competitions Teams lose marks for every athlete they have fewer than eight, due to the fact it is considered easier to co-ordinate with fewer athletes. Combos are teams where up to ten athletes participate in a flowing and continuous routine, but during their performance there are parts where various athletes will perform.
At present, out of the four categories mentioned above, only the Duets and Teams are included in the Olympic Games. In the past, the Solo category was also included in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympics.
Movements and Positions in Synchronised Swimming
Synchronised Swimming is made up of a specific number of simple positions and transitions. These range from the most simplistic and obvious where athletes perform on the front, back or vertical position. These also include more strenuous and demanding positions like the Flamingo, where athletes literally position themselves as flamingos, with one leg straight and the other bent.
There are a plethora of movements athletes engage in, like spinning in the water 180 degrees or 360 degrees.
In Tune with Music
Music is essential to Synchronised Swimming performances. Athletes need to learn to synchronise and perform based on the beat and rhythm of the music and co-ordinate with the other athletes in their team. The routine performed also needs to reflect the pace, tempo and speed of the music.
Synchronised Swimming Dancewear
The costumes athletes choose to wear during their performance are crucial. The dancewear needs to emphasise and mirror the theme of the music. Generally, Synchronised Swimmers opt to wear elaborate and colourful costumes so as to stand out and make an impression. Athletes also need to wear extensive make-up in order to accentuate their facial features and mirror their expressions and emotions while dancing.
Elena Papanikolaou Couture Dancewear, an established dancewear company, has a twenty-year long experience in the industry and undertakes in creating all types of dancewear. Elena Papanikoloaou creates handmade dancewear costumes according to the athlete’s or dancer’s style, type of routine they perform and image they wish to reflect during a performance. Costumes are vital during a performance as they need to reflect and compliment the performer’s expression, body and facial features but also they need to be comfortable and light. Elena Papanikolaou’s extensive experience guarantees all costumes are made using quality-fabrics, stylish designs and according to each performer’s needs and wants.