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Waving not drowning: rooftop synchronised swimming lessons

Posted at 1:30 pm, August 9, 2012 in Arts & Entertainment, Olympics & Paralympics
synchronised swimming

Last week I tested my poise, strength and skill by attempting synchronised swimming. I like to think I can glide like a swan (and sting like a bee), but deep down I feared I would be flailing more than fanning. Luckily I was in the hands of professionals. The small classes take place in the jaw-droppingly beautiful Berkeley Hotel rooftop pool and are run by synchro swimming champs Aquabatix. Once we were kitted out with attractive swimming hats and noseclips, we joined two of our teachers (none other than former Team GB athletes and Britain’s got Talent finalists Aquabatique) in the water and attempted to master a few classic moves. Part gymnastics, part swimming and part dance, the magic of synchro (that’s what the pros call it) is all about grinning and making it look easy above water, whilst working like a maniac down below. The simplest moves take immense strength and control but are surprisingly fun to attempt. The hour and a half lesson flew by, and before I knew it I’d mastered some moves and was pulling some serious watery shapes. We finished off by putting our slick skills into a short group routine: it was a wonderful feeling to be gliding in (rough) time with my fellow synchro virgins and looking vaguely graceful. I may not be Olympic standard just yet, but I would recommend these classes as a brilliant taster to anyone who has always wanted to try the egg beater kick and that lying on your back in a circle thingy (that’s the technical term). The Berkeley sessions have finished but they are looking to add more dates soon. Sonya Barber

Keep an eye on aquabatix.com and the-berkeley.co.uk for any upcoming classes.

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