Wednesday, November 22, 2017
News Roundup

Sun City Center Swim Dancers keep things in synch in the pool

RECOMMENDED READING


SUN CITY CENTER

Backstage, they formed a tight-knit circle and locked hands. From the youngest at 54 to the oldest at 82, they wished one another good luck in the water.

They had been practicing for months. Now, it was time to share their synchronized swimming skills with the sold-out crowd wrapped around the deck of the indoor pool.

But first, Rosemary Riley said a prayer. She ended it with this: "Hope to God he blesses us with a good show!"

The women laughed.

Swimming is not an easy sport. It takes energy to stay afloat and master skills such as freestyle and backstroke. Adding choreography and music to the mix makes it even tougher to look good in the water.

But the Sun City Center Swim Dancers know how to make synchronized swimming look beautiful and easy. They've been putting on shows since forming in 1985.

The youngest member, Mary Bergquist, is impressed with the passion and energy the women have for the sport. They practiced relentlessly to prepare for the annual show.

"All I can say is, I hope when I'm 82 I can still do this," she said.

Bergquist, whom everyone calls "coach," said they devote hours and hours of work to make each move look effortless.

"It looks easy because it's supposed to look easy, but it's really not," she said.

Lorraine Lowell is the oldest of the show's 15 members. She had one year of synchronized swimming under her belt, but that was back in college.

She had only been swimming for fun when she heard about the swim dancers in the early '90s.

She passed the tryout, swimming the length of the pool several times and showing her mastery of several swim strokes.

"They teach you everything else," she said.

Lowell feels like a mermaid in the water. She can do anything. During the show, she keeps her arm and leg movements in synch with the team. She floats, flips, dips and forms intricate circles and squares with the other members.

On land, she isn't as sturdy. It was her last big show with the team, which she joined about 20 years ago.

"I'm sorry to go," Lowell said. "I have disabilities that are slowing me down."

But Lowell isn't likely to slow down to a rocking chair. She has her eye on something else: the water aerobics club.

"I can't sit," she said, laughing.

All eyes are on the women for what they do in the water, and they like to do it with style.

They have costumes for each number and wear matching nail polish and makeup. They have learned that lipstick is the best thing to keep their cheeks rosy red because it doesn't wash off in the water.

The women dubbed this year's show "On the Road Again" and performed 11 numbers.

The number "Kansas City" earned them plenty of applause and laughter. Looking like biker chicks, they hit the water in Harley-Davidson T-shirts and black sunglasses.

In another piece, Ginny Williams and Susan Muise showed their athletic prowess by starting their number "Moon Over Miami" with dazzling dives into the water.

Williams said she loves the pool. She has tried other sports, such as golf, but has always returned to the water.

"I am more at home in the water than anywhere else," she said. "I'm good at swimming. You stick with what you're good at."

Barbara D'Entremont said the group members have become good friends. That is why they stick around for so many years.

"I think we think of the group as a sisterhood," she said.

The group presented retiring members Lowell and Carolyn Pate with flowers. Pate did not swim in the show, but she did choreograph the "St. Louis Blues" number.

D'Entremont said today's seniors are active. They do not retire to sit by the TV. They're out swimming, golfing, biking. This group of seniors is out to enjoy the golden years.

Retirement communities such as Sun City Center are a good place to find a fulfilling hobby, D'Entremont said.

"It's very hard to not get involved," she said.

   
Comments
Charities see greater need, donations during holidays after Irma

Charities see greater need, donations during holidays after Irma

Charities that feed the poor around Tampa Bay say they’ve seen a bump in demand since Hurricane Irma that is continuing into the holidays.But they also are reporting a spike in donations they are attributing to a neighbor-helping-neighbor spirit in t...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Mountains beckon, but family sticks with beleaguered Seminole Heights for Thanksgiving this year

Mountains beckon, but family sticks with beleaguered Seminole Heights for Thanksgiving this year

TAMPA — Before the killings began, Bob and Vivian Fiallo envisioned having Thanksgiving at their North Carolina mountain getaway.Most years, the couple spends the holiday at their tidy, brick-faced home on North Olney Avenue, in the heart of Southeas...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Forecast: Foggy, then partly cloudy Thanksgiving Eve before holiday rain takes hold across Tampa Bay

Forecast: Foggy, then partly cloudy Thanksgiving Eve before holiday rain takes hold across Tampa Bay

A foggy, then partly cloudy day precedes what potentially could be a wet and dreary Thanksgiving across Tampa Bay.Deep moisture in the region has produced thick fog early Wednesday morning, with visibility reduced to a quarter-mile in some areas — in...
Updated: 1 hour ago
What would drive a man to shoot someone 17 times?

What would drive a man to shoot someone 17 times?

Anthony Roy and his wife retired to Clearwater to escape the violence in Washington, D.C. They moved into a house owned by his mother, and they loved it there. Then uninvited guests started loitering in their back yard and dealing drugs. They couldn&...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Seminole Heights family shows strength over Thanksgiving; How ‘A Christmas Carol’ was born; Amazon’s crushing retail this holiday season; remembering David Cassidy

The Daystarter: Seminole Heights family shows strength over Thanksgiving; How ‘A Christmas Carol’ was born; Amazon’s crushing retail this holiday season; remembering David Cassidy

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.10News WTSPThe latest 7-day forecast• Increased moisture will produce thick morning fog, then give way to warm temperatures, partly cloudy skies and a small chance of rain. Com...
Updated: 1 hour ago
How ‘A Christmas Carol’ was born

How ‘A Christmas Carol’ was born

Charles Dickens’ best-known and most beloved book almost didn’t happen. In 1843, Dickens, then 31, was already dealing with the downside of international success. He had followed bestsellers like Oliver Twist with several flops and was s...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Some cities faced with all-or-nothing medical marijuana rules are playing it safe

Some cities faced with all-or-nothing medical marijuana rules are playing it safe

When it comes to weighing the options for regulating medical marijuana through the law passed this year, Dunedin city commissioners declared local governments face a "conundrum" and "a false dilemma."They said they would welcome a dispensary in the c...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Hometown Pasco for Nov. 24

Hometown Pasco for Nov. 24

We want your news! Hometown Pasco is devoted to everyday life in our county, whether it’s snapshots from your family reunion, recreational sporting event, news from your last club meeting or just a few lines thanking someone for a job well do...
Published: 11/22/17
Bowen: A legislative wish list for which to be thankful

Bowen: A legislative wish list for which to be thankful

This column took some time to compose. The initial scribbling came late on the night of Sept. 10 inside Pasco’s Emergency Operations Center as Hurricane Irma tracked across the county. Away from family. Stuck in a too-small work space with a bunch of...
Published: 11/22/17
Fennelly: USF-UCF rivalry needs more than directional disrespect

Fennelly: USF-UCF rivalry needs more than directional disrespect

TAMPA — It’s the biggest football game in USF history. It’s two days and 90 miles away. USF at UCF. The 9-1 Bulls against the 10-0 Knights. It’s USF coach Charlie Strong against UCF/Florida/Nebraska coach Scott Frost. It̵...
Updated: 22 minutes ago