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Nevada Desert Mermaids ~ A National Synchronized Swim Team

Updated on July 29, 2013

Synchronized Swimming Is Not As Easy As It Might Look!

Synchronized swimming is a beautiful and very athletic sport!
Synchronized swimming is a beautiful and very athletic sport! | Source

Synchronized Swimming ~ Team Canada From 2009 ~ A Fun Video!

Synchronized Swimming Combines Swimming With Gymnastics

Whenever a person is very, very good at doing something, they make it look easy. Such is the case with synchronized swimming. Young girls who get into this sport must have superb skills of agility, grace, concentration, coordination, discipline, extraordinary athletic ability, strength, and amazing stamina. Add to this the ability to hold ones breath for long periods of time, and the stress of being in a competition, and you have synchronized swimming!

Nevada has the honor of having such a stellar synchronized swim team, right in the back yard of Las Vegas! The team is known as the Nevada Desert Mermaids. They meet and practice in a town about 10 miles west of Las Vegas called Summerlin. Practices are held at the Pavilion Center swimming pool in Summerlin. In recent years, the Desert Mermaids have qualified to compete in various national competitions among girls who range in age from 6 to 17.

I think if something like this had been around 40 years or so ago, and if I had lived in Nevada at that time, I would have tried out for a team like this. I have always loved gymnastics and did some cheer-leading at the junior high school and high school levels, but I would have needed more practice at swimming. So, those are an awful lot of "if's" or "if only's"... suffice it to say that these girls are very, very lucky to have such a fantastic program available to them right here in Nevada.

The Nevada Desert Mermaids are a year round synchronized swimming team, whose program has sent girls to various competitions throughout the United States. In addition, they have competed in the Pan American Games all around the world. The team includes girls who have swimming abilities at all levels, and the learning opportunities afforded to these young girls by this program are tremendous.

Synchronized swimming takes a lot of concentration, athletic ability and stamina!
Synchronized swimming takes a lot of concentration, athletic ability and stamina! | Source

Constantly Striving For Excellence Is Their Objective...

Synchronized swimming is a really unique sport, requiring extraordinary agility, musical interpretation, creativity, stamina, boundless energy and determination. The sport of synchronized swimming is an Olympic sport, featuring competitions in the classes of solo, duet and team competition.

Competitors must be able to effectively perform required movements and routines, as well as show a dramatic flair by creating original routines set to music that show other skills of the swimmers. They must also provide an entertaining and athletic routine. Judging for synchronized swimming in the Olympics is similar to the judging done for Olympic Gymnastics and figure skating competitions.

It's extremely difficult to perform an athletic feat of this magnitude, all the while making it look both flawless and effortless, yet that is exactly what these young athletes are trained to do. For just a seemingly short routine, lasting 3 1/2 to 5 minutes, an athlete is required to perform as if they are running and holding their breath in time lengths of up to 30 seconds. All the while, the athlete must be graceful and beautifully fluid in their motions, and keep in time with music. I can't even imagine the energy and sheer athleticism these young girls must have to take part in such a rigorous sport.

Synchronized Swimming Is Sometimes Also Called Water Ballet

English water ballet in Guaralavaca, Cuba.
English water ballet in Guaralavaca, Cuba. | Source

Coaching This Sport Is Probably Very Rewarding

I would think that being a coach of a synchronized swimming team would be an extraordinarily rewarding endeavor. To see how far these young ladies can go in a competitive situation must be the best benefit of coaching such a great, unique sport.

The Nevada Desert Mermaids are fortunate to have two former Olympic gold medal winners coaching them. Heather Carassco is the head coach of the team. She was an Olympic medalist in the 1996 Olympic games. She started swimming at the very young age of 8, and is originally from California. She swam for 18 years competitively both Nationally and Internationally. She received many awards both Nationally and in World Cup competitions. Heather is a very experienced and highly qualified coach.

She moved to Nevada in 2004 in order to perform in a water show there known as AZURE. When the show was cancelled in 2006, she remained here in Las Vegas, and continued to be a Mermaid at a local hotel. At the Silverton Hotel, just south of the strip, there is an amazingly beautiful fish tank full of a wonderful array of gorgeous fish. To make the aquarium even more special, there are Mermaids who swim in the tank with the fish and they interact with the hotel guests. Children especially love this exhibit, which continues to be very popular at the Silverton Hotel today.

Stephanie Bissonnette is another outstanding coach of the Nevada Desert Mermaids team. She also received Gold medals in the Olympics in solo, duet and team competitions. She was formerly in the Cirque du Soleil show known as "O" here in Las Vegas.

The founding coach of the team is Linda Tannenbaum. She is a former national and world champion. She is also a former performer and choreographer for a water show here that took place in Las Vegas at the Riviera hotel known as "Splash".

I cannot even imagine the satisfaction and pride these outstanding coaches must feel when they see a young girl blossom into an expert swimmer and become a great synchronized swimmer. To see these girls attain the skill necessary to compete at a National and International level must be so incredibly rewarding.

Synchronized swimming is such a beautiful, athletic sport and these swimmers are simply amazing to watch. To be able to combine such feats of athleticism along with beauty, grace and elegance is incredible. To make it all look effortless as well is magnificent.

Some interesting Synchronized Swimming Trivia....

***** A little bit of trivia! Synchronized Swimmers rely mostly on one extremely important piece of equipment ~ A NOSE CLIP to keep water from entering their noses when they are underwater for long periods of time. In addition, unflavored gelatin is used in the swimmer's hair to keep hair in place, and keep it from moving around while the swimmer is spinning in circles, and moving around in the water! *****


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