Dancers Learn the Secrets of Synchronized Swimmers

August 17, 2012

Dancer Prepares for a Performance (Source:

You are warmed up and ready to go onstage. The hair is done, the costume is on, and the makeup is flawless.  You start counting off the phrases of the music, and right on cue, you step out into the bright lights.  Fast forward to the end of the show.  The curtain has gone down and you exit the stage, invigorated.   You stroll leisurely to the dressing room while greeting your fans, then — exhausted– casually plop down in the chair and look in the mirror:  “Aaahhh!! What happened?! How did that eyeliner get on my cheek and what is that false eyelash doing on my forehead?”

Clearly, this type of makeup crisis is something that synchronized swimmers have long since learned to avoid. In fact, it is truly astounding that these amazing underwater athletes can execute such complex and physically demanding routines without getting so much as a hair out of place or even the slightest eyeliner smudge.

So what are some of these well-kept secrets of synchronized swimmers?

First, some interesting facts:

There are many similarities between dance and synchronized swimming in that they both involve choreography, a strong sense of line, balance, strength for lifts, endurance, and the ability to do all of this unison with others.
Unlike dancers, however, synchronized swimmers go through their rigorous routines while holding their breath and wearing a nose clip!

The Lifts!
In dance, the execution of a lift involves some form of connection to a solid surface, which is typically the floor.  In synchronized swimming, however, they are not allowed to touch the bottom of the pool.  Instead, they must use their own body strength to lift and propel other swimmers above the surface of the water.

What About the Music?
In addition to relying upon their own vision to move with other dancers, musical cues provide another important tool to help dancers stay together. But what about the synchronized swimmers?
First of all, they must keep their eyes open and continue to hear the music throughout the routine through the use of underwater speakers.

 And what about that perfect makeup and hair?


Andrea Fuentes Fache and Ona Carbonell Ballestero of Spain (Photograph: Barbara Walton/EPA)


Mi Hyang Jang and Hui Yon Jong of Korea (Photograph: Al Bello/Getty Images)


Natalia Ishchenko and Svetlana Romashina of Russia (Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images)


Lara Teixeira and Naya Figueira of Brazil (Photograph: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)


Yukiko Inui and Ou Liu of Japan (Image by Al Bello / Getty Images)


Daria Iushko and Kseniya Sydorenko of the Ukraine (Image by Michael Dalder/ Reuters)


Evangelia Platanioti and Despoina Solomou of Greece (Image by TOBY MELVILLE / Reuters)


Spain’s Synchronized Swim Team 2012 Olympics London (Source: EPA)

Makeup Secrets of Synchronized Swimmers

It appears that the overall theme for synchronized swimming makeup is to go for something that is colorful, eye-catching and bold enough to be seen from a great distance.  Ok, we can accomplish this with any makeup, even the cheapest stuff.  What we want to know is:  What do they use that is so amazingly water-and-smudge-proof that allows them to stay in the water for so long and come out still looking flawless?

Some of the brands that have been mentioned:

  • Make Up For Ever  (particularly their Aqua line).
  • Eye Max Studio Products
  • Clinique Makeup
  • Diorshow Mascara

What About The Hair?

Dancers use an entire arsenal of sprays and gels to keep their hair under control for a performance, but how will these products fair in the water an chlorine?  Not so well. In fact, synchronized swimmers used to use Vaseline, but that has long since been replaced by Knox Gelatin.

First, the swimmer puts her hair  in a bun and secures it with pins.  Then packets of gelatin are mixed with hot water and then it is  painted onto the hair.  Any headpiece that the swimmer wears is then secured to the hair and the gelatin is allowed to dry.  Once dry, the gel is extremely hard!!  For instructions on how they do it see:

Knox Gelatin for Synchronized Swimmers

So, whether you are dancing onstage, hoping to look glamorous all day at the beach or preparing for another wild Saturday night on the dance floor, there is plenty to learn from those incredible synchronized swimmers!


Link – Frequently asked questions about synchronized swimming –

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