I’m super excited to share this guest blog with you. The Aurora Synchro Club attended the Water Beauties training camp and they let us have a glimpse of their time in Las Vegas. I have talked with girls from two clubs that have attended these camps and they were over the moon when describing how it went. Enjoy this guest blog and be sure to check out the the Water Beauties.
Recently, the Edmonton Auroras made a special trip to Las Vegas to participate in a legendary Water Beauties Training Camp. Seeing the transformation of the athletes over the course of the 4 days of events has overwhelmed me beyond words. I can barely get any words out to thank Water Beauties for the effort and enthusiasm given to our athletes. Confidence was built, inspiration was ignited and dreams created.
Among many other disciplines, the Edmonton Auroras attended personalized acting classes, Pilates instruction, and dance lessons at their Water Beauties Training Camp.
Here is a recap of our experience at our Water Beauties Training Camp:
Day one: Pool sessions with Bill May, Daria Tatarintseva, Johanne Clerk, Rachel Simon, Suzannah Bianco, and Christina Jones. Experimenting with the body and different pieces of music, with Bill. Solos and duets worked with the other coaches on choreography and routine execution. Athletes felt extremely uncomfortable as they attempted to present themselves at their highest level for their new coaches. End of day Pilates with Rachael outside in the warm Las Vegas sunshine was the perfect way to unwind from the stresses of the pool sessions. On Saturday night, several athletes attended the Beatles “LOVE” show by Cirque du Soleil. It was a great way to introduce Cirque du Soleil performance and to expose the athletes to The Beatles music that they are swimming to in their Junior Combo Routine.
Day Two: Continuation of being extremely uncomfortable. The day started with a private dance class with Tania Reis. Use of toes, feet, ankles, hips, core, and arms to express dance moves. Improved body awareness and posture, while working on coordination and timing. Next was a personalized acting class with Johnny Miles from Le Rêve. Use of eye contact, awareness of others, and performing using their whole body. Another Pilates session with Rachael and assistant Anna Nelson. The coaches gathered strength exercises that applied to synchro, as the athletes began to find their core. Afternoon back stage tour at Cirque du Soleil’s “O” hosted by Bill May, followed by a performance of “O.” Athletes viewed training areas, costumes, and stage areas while hearing the background of the story of “O.” Later, they attended the show and started to feel the connection between their sport and their artistry of performance. We all enjoyed watching Bill’s dance moves, the diving acrobatics, and the synchro performances in the show.
Day Three: Started with an athlete nutrition session with Delphine Perroud, followed by a nutrition session for parents. Focused on loving your body and treating it right with proper nutrition. Next: pool sessions with Bill May, Daria Tatarintseva, Johanne Clerk, Rachael Simon, and Suzannah Bianco. Focus of the day was team performing. From the youngest athletes to the oldest, all started to feel the effort required to perform the music. Most athletes continued to feel out of their comfort zone, but not as much as the first pool session day. By the afternoon, all athletes understood the value of performing “over-the-top” presentation. They were sharper, their patterns were clearer, and most of all, they were amazing to watch. The transformation from robotic performance to elite artistic performances was priceless. The athletes cheered each other on as new heights of performance were reached. The coaches were learning how to coach the performance skills out of their athletes. This camp was a learning tool for the athletes and the coaches! The day ended with a performance of Le Rêve with a performer “Meet and Greet” after the Show. The athletes were introduced to Canadian Synchro Swimmers performing in the show, they met the REAL Delphine (star of the Show), and chatted with Johnny Miles about his clown antics in the Show. INSPIRATION ENSUED.
Day Four: Flexibility with quiet and elegant Japanese Olympian Kanako Kitao. Her calm approach to our 2hr flexibility had the girls showing their coaches their newly flat splits at the end of the session. Next up: Acting with Johnny Miles. At this point, the girls are ready to perform anything. Johnny has them perform individually in front of the group. A new level of performing with confidence is reached. The girls “gel” as they support each other. Even the shy athletes are pushing themselves to perform with confidence. Next up: Walking/Modelling with former Russian National Team Member Daria Tatarintseva. After an hour of working on walk-ons, both solo and team, the girls show that they can walk with confidence as a group and as individuals. They have some fun learning modelling catwalks to great music and transfer this attitude and confidence back into their routine walk-ons. We end our camp with a make-up session with Daria. She teaches the art of natural looking routine makeup. The athletes are able to watch, learn, and apply with her supervision. Even the youngest athletes were able to hold the makeup tools and use them on each other with products.
The final words from Water Beauties’ President Heather Orrison, Alumni of the Auroras, Canadian National Team, “O” original cast member, and former Le Rêve performer summarized the camp: “The athletes have been transformed into amazing performers. This knowledge they have gained needs to be used daily to become the very best at synchronized swimming,” she said.