Beyond the water in Synchronised Swimming: Music, costume, make-up



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Music is integral to Synchronised Swimming. In the solo event, the swimmer has to synchronise with the music. While in other events, the swimmer not only has to be in sync with the music, they will also need to synchronise with their team mates.

Although the choice of music is not judged, it will support the theme of the performance or could have been the inspiration for the piece in the first place. The choreography and performance will be expected to mirror the tempo, mood and feelings of the music.

Choosing the music is often one of the first steps in creating a routine. Sometimes, different pieces of music are edited together to better suit the choreography.


Synchronised swimmers often have elaborate costumes. These costumes and headwear are used to highlight or emphasise the chosen theme. Although costumes are not judged and do not affect the scores, they are highly intricate affairs. This is because athletes wish to capture the attention of the judges and spectators from the moment they appear on the pool deck.

Costumes for synchronised swimming are made by specific costume makers. This is because the designs will need to be interpreted and incorporated into the suit. As the suit needs to be comfortable for the athletes when they perform their routines, an understanding of how the material moves and how much appliqués (pieces of fabric sewn on the main garment to form pictures or patterns) can be applied is important. If the athletes are restricted in any way by their costumes, then they will not be able to perform to their best.

Hair and makeup

Synchronised swimmers also wear makeup. The makeup is used to highlight the swimmer's features so it is easier for the judges to interpret their facial expressions.

Have you ever wondered how the athletes keep their hair in place during their routines?

The secret to their perfect coif is unflavoured jello. Unflavoured jello is mixed with water and brushed on their hair before competition. The key ingredient in the paste is soft equine cartilage, which is said to be quite healthy for hair. The paste keeps the hair stiff and shiny throughout the competition.

Besides lots of training and practices, the elements mentioned above are some of the other things athletes need to take note of before they are ready for competition. All these elements make up the whole performance and one without the other will result in an incomplete display.


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