York YWCA's Synchro-ettes go 'Under the Sea'


Most have seen the movie "The Little Mermaid," but not many can say they've seen the title character, Ariel, splashing and singing in the water in real life.

Families will have the opportunity to do just that at the YWCA York at 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10, and at 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11, where the Synchro-ettes present their live, aquatic version of the Disney classic.

The Synchro-ettes, a synchronized swimming team that has been performing and competing since 1972, has been putting on a show for the public annually for more than 30 years, said the YWCA's aquatic director, Kathleen Warner.

The show: "We transform the entire pool area so it looks like you're going into an actual play," she said. The swimmers "are all in full costume, but they've been adapted for the water. You'll definitely be able to recognize your favorite characters out there."

Past shows have included other Disney classics such as "The Lion King" and "Peter Pan," but the performances have been dominated by Disney princess stories.

The shows are a combination of acting on a platform above water and synchronized swim performances.

"They're up on a platform acting it out and doing their speaking roles, and when there is a song they jump in the pool and swim," Warner said.

The swim team has girls from second grade through high school. The younger swimmers will take on the roles of fish and sailors, while the senior members of the team will fill the lead roles.

"It's something they look forward to every year," she said. "It's a one-of-a-kind event. It's very interesting, and it's unique to York."

Competition: The York Synchro-ettes, when they're not dazzling the community with crowd-pleasing lifts and aqua-acrobatics, put their technical skills to the test in their competition season.

Their first meet of the season is in December, and the competitions continue once a month. The Synchro-ettes travel as far as New York and Connecticut to show off their skills.

"It's gymnastics ability; it's dancing ability; it's controlled fluid movement underwater," Warner said of synchronized swimming. "It takes air control and discipline."

For more information, go to www.yorksynchroettes.org. To purchase tickets for "The Little Mermaid" call 717-434-1767. Seating is limited.

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at jschladebeck@yorkdispatch.com.