Fabulous Fitness: Synchronized Swimming with the Aqualillies

By Michael Andrade of Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
Fabulous Fitness: Synchronized Swimming with the Aqualillies
The Aqualillies

From biking along the beach to jogging on the Venice boardwalk to playing beach volleyball, there’s certainly no shortage of ways to stay fit around Santa Monica. But I bet you’ve never tried synchronized swimming!

That’s right: you can take a synchronized swimming class with the Aqualillies at the Annenberg Beach House.

The Aqualillies are professional water dancers — like the Rockettes in swim caps! — and they’re in hot demand to perform at pool parties all around SoCal. At the Annenberg Beach House, members of the troupe teach a 75-minute synchronized swimming class that will make you feel like a star of your own MGM aqua musical.

You’ll learn moves with names like ballet legs, torpedoes and tuck turns, all set to music from the ‘50s as well as retro-style tunes like Duffy’s Mercy. The drop-in fee for a midweek technique class is $35 — no reservation or membership required. Classes are held year-round on most Tuesdays, and there’s an additional Thursday class during the summer (but check the Beach House web site for each month’s schedule).

Remember to bring a towel, a swimsuit that will stay put during underwater turns, and a swim cap (Canyon Beachwear, a minute’s drive from the Beach House, has some flower-covered caps fit for Esther Williams herself).

There really couldn’t be a more perfect setting for your retro swim class: The upscale community center sits on five acres that were originally part of an oceanside compound built by William Randolph Hearst for his mistress, Marion Davies. The guesthouse has been renovated into a historical center and event space, and the pool’s marble deck is the same place where the actress used to party until the wee hours with Greta Garbo and Charlie Chaplin.

Even if you can’t make a class, you should definitely try to soak up some old Hollywood glamour and take a dip in the pool, which opens for the summer on June 25. Adult passes are only $10, but you’ll need to make an online reservation, and the passes sell out days in advance. 

Once you check out the facilities, you’ll understand why!