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The Exploration Chronicles: Diving into Synchronized Swimming

Follow Natasha as she immerses herself in the world of synchronized swimming.

Introducing The Exploration Chronicles! This is a little section of the Dalhousie Gazette where I will explore different societies and activities happening at or around Dalhousie University. 

These will be honest reviews that will help readers learn about what‘s happening in Halifax and perhaps inspire them to try something new or find a new hobby.

My first journey is to explore synchronized swimming with the Dal Synchro Society.

A day in the life

Synchronized swimming is a sport in which swimmers perform a choreographed routine to music while in the water. 

For Dal’s synchro athletes, every practice starts with arriving at the Dalplex pool deck and setting up the underwater sound system. This sound system allows the swimmers to better hear the music while they are swimming. 

Once everything is set up, the team rehearses their land drills. The land drills allow athletes to practice their choreographed movements on land, to music, before they hop in the water. 

Land drills help ensure all the team members are performing the right movements at the right time and if there is any confusion about the choreography, the team can analyze, assess and fix the issues.

Once the land drills are completed, it’s time for the athletes to jump in and warm up their strokes as well as special movements used in their routines.

The real show starts when the team begins practicing their routine in the water with the music. They start their routine and practice specific sections that the swimmers are concerned about and do multiple run-throughs before tacking on new choreography. 

The team films themselves so they can look back and see how they can improve and if there are any inconsistencies in their movements.

Trying my hand at it

After learning about synchro and observing the pros in action, it was my turn to jump in. Let it be known that I am not a great swimmer, so this was an intimidating feat. 

My instructors for the day were Xinya Calhoun and Bellaa Hadju, the president and vice president of Dal Synchro.

Calhoun and Hajdu have each been swimming for over 10 years and have competed provincially and nationally. In my time with the pros, they taught me how to properly move my arms to keep myself afloat, breathing techniques and a novice routine. 

Synchro requires lots of strength and flexibility and is definitely harder than it looks. Partaking in this sport was a unique opportunity.

Both Calhoun and Hadju are very grateful for Dal Synchro.   

“I’m glad that Dalhousie has a society for synchro so that I can continue to practice and hone my skill,” said Calhoun.

Hadju also loves being able to practice her skills but emphasized the social element of the team.

“Dal Synchro has been a great way to stay active while at school and it’s been a great way to make new friends and have fun,” she said.

Unfortunately for anyone who wants to start synchro, the Dal Synchro Society no longer has a novice program due to a lack of coaching staff but Hadju is hopeful that the program may be able to run in future seasons.

SUB: Grading the Experience

On a scale of one to 10; one being the least and 10 being the most

Time Commitment: 7

Skill: 9

Accessibility: 3

Enjoyment: 9

Overall Experience: 7

Concluding Thoughts

From this experience, it is evident that you must be highly motivated and patient to be a synchronized swimmer. The routine you are putting together with your team requires lots of practice and adjustments to make it perfect. 

Synchro is also a very social sport. Team members spend lots of time together which helps bond the athletes and allows them to coordinate their movement better. 

Watching the athletes perform their routines was the highlight of this experience.

For more information about Dal Synchro, find them on Instagram and TikTok @dalsynchro.If you are part of a society that you want me to explore or if there’s an activity you think I should try, please email your suggestions to nt743857@dal.ca.

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