The Santa Clara Aquamaids never cease to dazzle audiences when they perform. The skill and athleticism needed to dance in water while making it look simple is where the Aquamaids excel.
Each year on Memorial Day, the Aquamaids hold an exhibition at the George F. Haines International Swim Center, giving each Aquamaids team the opportunity to shine. As with years past, former Aquamaids and performers in Cirque du Soleil’s O show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, Bill May and Christina Jones, showcased their synchronized swimming skills in solo and duet performances.
This year, however, is particularly special for May, who will be able to return to the competitive stage, as a mixed duet event has been added to the 2015 FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia. Part of the Memorial Day show included bits and pieces from the technical duet routine May and Jones will perform. May also performed a solo to Frank Sinatra’s My Way, dancing through the crowd before stripping down and jumping into the pool.
This year’s event was special for Jones, as it marked the 20th anniversary since her first Memorial Day performance in Santa Clara. I remember my first water show was exactly 20 years ago,she said. It was called the Road to Atlanta. We were gearing up for the ‘96 Olympics and my team was doing the little duckling routine. I remember it being so much fun and a lot of camaraderie and building up a relationship with my teammates.
The people who I swam with when I was six years old at the very first competition, Jones continued, I’m still best friends with and some of them are still here today. I’ve known Bill since I was a little girl and I’ve respected him and I’ve seen how much he deserves [to perform competitively again]. I think he deserves to go to a world competition more than anybody deserves anything and it’s truly an honor to swim by his side for this.
The Memorial Day show, Something Notable,was created by Head Coach Chris Carver, who has a background in music and did a seminar on music for the sport back in November. She double dippedand used the music theme for the May 25 performance, utilizing Aquamaids Rebecca Moody (rhythm), Stephanie Thielmann (melody), Emily Anger (harmony) and Amande Urke (tone color) for the solos.
After the show was complete, there was an opportunity for audience members to get into the pool and learn the basics of synchronized swimming.
Signups for the Aquamaids’ summer program are currently open for children ages seven through 12. More information is available at www.aquamaids.org