Natasha Hanson, 17, (left) and Amber Proudfoot, 15, lift themselves straight out of the water during synchronized swimming practice on May 12. Melanie Law photo

Artistry and athleticism on display in new synchronized swimming program

Former competitive synchronized swimmer Nicole Lantzy is bringing her sport to Quesnel

Elegance, athleticism and artistry were on display at the Quesnel & District Arts and Recreation Centre last weekend as a six-week synchronized swimming class wrapped up on Saturday.

Instructor Nicole Lantzy has competed provincially and nationally in the sport, and she decided to put on a program in Quesnel in April and May this year, after finding herself missing it once she moved to the area last year.

“I’ve been teaching it for 10 years on and off, and I’ve swam for more than 15 years before that.

“When I moved here from the Lower Mainland, I found out that the closest club is in Prince George, and eventually, I missed it,” she says.

Lantzy put on a 12-and-under program as well as a 14-and-older program, with nine swimmers joining the younger age group and five in the older group, including teens and adults.

She says only female swimmers registered this time, but the sport is not exclusively for women and girls.

“Synchronized swimming involves artistic ability and an ability to interpret music, to be creative, to involve dance with your love of the water,” says Lantzy.

“I love that every routine I choreograph is unique. The more creative you are, the better your routine and the higher you’ll score. There’s a lot of conveying a story, an image or a feeling to an audience.”

Participants had to have their Level 4 in the Red Cross swimming program to ensure they felt comfortable in deep water, but Lantzy says she had all ability ranges in her recent classes.

“Many had done dance or gymnastics, but they weren’t all part of swim club,” she says.

Lantzy was impressed with the talent she found so far in Quesnel, and plans to put on a synchronized swimming program starting in the fall.

“I’ve definitely seen a lot of gifted girls and a lot of interest in doing more. A few mentioned that they’d like to compete, which is not what I expected. I’m happy with how the six weeks have gone, and it’s been just a lot of fun.”

Lantzy says synchronized swimming will be offered in the Fall Recreation Guide for those who want to continue, or try out, the sport.

“This is my passion, and I love sharing it.”

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