Synchronized swimming pays tribute to starfish, emulating their graceful group movements and fetchingly ruffled caps. Swim like an aquatic star with today's Groupon: for $35, you get four weeks of synchronized-swimming camp (or two two-week sessions) with the Arizona Desert Dolphins Synchronized Swim Team at the Skyline Aquatics Center in Mesa (a $70 value). Swim camps run during the following two-week sessions:
- Session One: May 31−June 9
- Session Two: June 13−23
- Session Three: June 27−July 7
- Session Four: July 11−21
In addition to competing regionally as an amateur synchronized swim team, the Arizona Desert Dolphins spend summers schooling young swimmers in the creative and precise craft of underwater gymnastics. Girls age 6 to 12 years old may sign up for Camp GottawannaSynch, where they will develop the confidence to boldly explode out of the water, shed their mermaid tails, and ditch clingy crustacean friends. GottawannaSynch runs in the afternoons Monday through Thursdays, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., an ideal time for playful splashing, diving, and dunking.
Thicker-skinned mussels and muscle-building 5- to 15-year old boys and girls may opt for the Tough Kids boot camp, which incorporates fitness training and exercise techniques into the synchronized swimming lessons. From 6:30 to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, amphibious students will take on a rotating schedule of swimming, running, gymnastics, and diving, proving their land-based mettle before returning to a clean and chlorinated watery retreat.
Arizona Desert Dolphins
Since 2006, the Arizona Desert Dolphins have been showcasing their aquatic tricks as the arid landscape of Mesa, Arizona opens around them. They're not actual dolphins, though—they're a team of synchronized swimmers ranging from age 5 to 55, who have honed their craft in local pools. Some swim recreationally, others competitively, but they all train in the team's programs, leagues, and camps, learning the ins and outs of the sport.
Although it was originally dubbed "water ballet," synchronized swimming is really more sport than dance. It's been an official Olympic sport since 1984 and requires multi-faceted athleticism: swimming skill, gymnastics-level flexibility, and the same stamina it takes to run long distances or ride an untamed rocking chair. It all looks effortless during the Dolphins' meets, but that's only thanks to savvy head coaches Lorette Haynes and Jessica Naranjo. (And nose clips, without which the upside-down moves would be impossible.)
845 S Crismon Rd.
Mesa, Arizona 85208Get Directions