This year’s Aqualinks performance featured a variety of firsts. The theme was Glow Night, and it featured glow sticks and even a performance by Ground Zero. The show took place in the Lincoln High Pool on May 7 and 8, 2015. The group raised over $300 in ticket sales, but the main thing was the fun. “It’s my first year coaching,” Aqualinks coach Sandra Franz said. “I started out as a special education para and was told about the program by Brian Foley and Jill Able. I’ve always loved synchronized swimming. I swam all 4 years in high school. It is a sport where you can set your own goals and work as a team to create something.”
It’s a combination between dance and swimming. Students met up 4 days a week to practice and excelled with it only being their first year trying the sport. The team consists of members Josh Cheval, Nam Vo, Gabrielle Dalton, and Trevor Filkin. The sound techs include Joseph Dodge and Jaydn Burton. “We also consider them to be team members for a total of six,” Franz said. When I first started recruiting I imagined a team of about 15 athletic girls and I’m thankful that vision didn’t come true. Our team is made up of mostly guys and only one girl,” Franz said. “It was a challenge, but in a sense we had to reinvent the sport.” Students picked songs they liked and they even got the opportunity to collaborate with Ground Zero for one of the acts on show night.
“The team had so much fun even though it was hard work. I could not have asked for a better group of people to work with,” Franz said. Students were expected to wear Knox (a non flavored gelatin) to make their hair hard as a helmet so that it would stay in place during the performance. The girls wore makeup, and they had props along with glow Sticks, LED lights that changed colors to the music, and spotlights. The audience members were given glow Sticks as well. Franz was in a bit of a panic on opening night because one of the swimmers was not able to make it due to road closures caused by the heavy rains. “I asked myself if I should cancel the show, and then I had the crazy idea that I would swim in every one of his acts,” Franz said. It showed how well the team worked together under pressure. They were worried at first but pulled through and had an awesome show. Gabrielle Dalton also performed a solo to the song Skinny Love (live version) by Bella Ferrara. “Her great grandmother was able to attend the show. She taught Gabrielle how to swim as a child. “It was overall a very meaningful year for all of us,” Franz added.