Staying in sync: Edina High School celebrates 60 years of synchronized swimming

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At the Southview Middle School pool in Edina, swimmers are celebrating six decades of being in sync.

“I love how inclusive it is,” said Kiki Miller, a member of the Edina synchronized swimming team. “It’s such an interesting sport. It’s taught me a lot about confidence and pushing through hard times.”

The Edina High School synchronized swimming team started as a club back in 1959. It was one of the few sports, besides cheerleading, where girls could make some waves. It became a varsity sport in the mid-1970s and has grown so popular up to 70 swimmers perform carefully choreographed aquatic acrobatics each spring. Some say the sport gets a bad rap.

“Saturday Night Live maybe did or did not do us a disservice to our sport," said Carla Steffen, the team’s head coach. “How can you not laugh at that? It’s enjoyable, but commercials throw synchronized swimmers in. There's movies. So there is something about it that attracts people to it even if they don't know we have it.”

At Southview, no one gets thrown into the deep end. Everyone who wants to, makes the team no matter their skill level. Alumni say it’s the friendships that keep the program afloat.

"I think its camaraderie and good exercise, and it's water ballet, ultimately - who doesn't like ballet?" said Lisa Webb, an alumni.

After 60 years of pooling their talents, synchronized swimming is still keeping students on their toes.

“I hope it continues for a long time,” said Miller. “I think the coaches and everyone involved in it loves it so much. I think it will continue.”