Synchronicity In The Pool

OUT ON THE EDGE

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Not many in the Rim country are seasoned enough to remember the 1940s heyday of synchronized swimming made popular by the likes of Esther Williams.

One of the few locals who understands the nuances of the sport is Taylor Pool Manger Jim Quinlan not because he's old enough to remember the 40s. Rather, his expertise is due to his life-long involvement in aquatics.

"Synchronized swimming literary means swimming in time," Quinlan said. "And, what some people don't know is it's an Olympic sport."

Quinlan characterizes the sport as mostly a woman's aquatic endeavor in which participant perform creative and intricate swim routines in the water.

"They do the routines to music in some instances the music is played under water as well as the surface because a lot of the swimming is under (water)," Quinlan said.

The long-time lifeguard and aquatics instructor says the athletes who take up the sport must be strong swimmers. Also, he said, the sports can be very beneficial because it teaches a kind of athleticism.

In past years, Quinlan and others have brought synchronized swim teams to Taylor Pool to give guest performances. Most teams come from the Valley and perform for young members of the Payson Pikes swim squad. The performances have been well received by the team members, Quinlan said.

Rim country residents who harbor an interest in the sport, or would like to know more about it, will soon have the opportunity to take lessons.

The Town of Payson Parks and Recreation Department has brought local elementary school teacher Leslie Reisdorf on board to give lesson beginning June 19.

The classes will be offered from 9 a.m. to 9:55 a.m and 5:30 p.m. to 6:25 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Also occurring about the same time in another part of the pool will be the adult aerobics classes.

"It'll be a full pool, but they won't interfere (with one another)," Town Recreation Coordinator Beth Kreider said.

The synchronized swim lessons will be given in three two-week sessions. Participants may enroll in one of the sessions or all three. However, Kreider cautioned, those who opt for a single session should enroll in the first two-week program since that's when the basics of the sport will be taught. Those who take the second or third session and not the first might find themselves lacking the fundamentals of the sport.

Kreider also asks that all enrollees possess all the basic stroke skills to swim effectively since much of the practicing will be done in the deep end of Taylor Pool.

Registration for the classes may be completed at the P&R offices located at Green Valley Park. The fee is $15 for each two-week session.

Enrollment will be on a first-come, first-served basis with a class size limit of 15. Call 474-5242, ext. 7 for more information.

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