Lessons Help Keep Swimmers In Sync

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Synchronized swimming may not be the hottest sports offering in the Rim country, but for elementary school teacher Leslie Reisdorf, it's a summer way of life.

Since she first took to synchronized swimming 20-plus years ago while attending the University of Arizona in Tucson, Reisdorf has yearned for ways to lend further exposure to what she says is an underrated sport.

In past swim seasons, she's donated hours teaching youth synchronized swim teams and has put on several demonstrations and clinics.

This summer, she's teamed with the Payson Parks and Recreation Department to teach two classes Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at Taylor Pool. The morning class, held from 9 to 10 a.m. has drawn eight students.

The evening class, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. has four students enrolled.

The classes are being taught in three two-week sessions. The first was held June 19 to 29. The second session began July 10 and will wrap up July 21.

The third session, which still has openings for students, will be July 24 to Aug. 4.

According to Reisdorf, participants must be able to swim unassisted and safely in the deep end of Taylor Pool for extended periods of time.

In the classes, Reisdorf teaches the nuances of the sport which includes "dancing in water with music and movements done to beats and measures," she said.

The sport also involves the use of gymnastics, swimming and dancing techniques.

For the successful participant, synchronized swimming produces several benefits including an increased level of physical fitness and a sense of accomplishment, Reisdorf said. "It's also a lot of fun."

At the conclusion of the final two-weeks' session Aug. 4, Reisdorf's plans to have her students put on a program to showcase the skills they've learned this summer.

Eventually, she'd like to field a competitive team in Payson that would compete against other Arizona squads. Currently only Phoenix and Tucson have teams, but one is being formed in Prescott, Reisdorf said.

Call 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information on the classes.

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