For most of us, synchronized swimming is a sport we only get a peek at once every four years during the summer Olympics. The combination of swimming and performance art might have a smaller following than its many aquatic cousins, such as diving and swim relays, but it still requires preparation and dedication.
Last month the University of Texas was home to the 2010 Junior National Synchro Championships at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center. The Austin Angelfish hosted the event with more than 300 elite synchronized swimmers, ages 15-18 competing for Junior National titles in the solo, duet, team and combo events. The winning team: The Walnut Creek (Calif.) Aquanuts.
Each routine has a theme and is performed with music and a costume that consists of a custom swimsuit, a decorative head piece, and theatrical make-up. The routines are judged on artistic impression and technical merit. The team routines are four minutes long and up to eight athletes can participate. The sport requires a combination of strength, agility, grace, timing, musical interpretation, stamina and dramatic flair.
Here's a look at these graceful competitors.