At a Glance:
Address: (season starts again in April) Annenberg Beach House, 415 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica, CA 90402
Length: 75 minutes
Price: $35 drop-in, $160 full season (6 sessions)
Sweat scale: hard to tell underwater
Energy level: medium
Sometimes I say to myself, “Only in LA” and my experience with Aqualillies had me repeating that phrase quite a bit. I couldn’t help but tell anyone and everyone! The Aqualillies is a professional synchronized swim/dance team who has successfully brought back the art form of “Water Ballet” into mainstream culture. Think of those classic swim numbers in the movies from the golden age. You can’t help but look in awe as they float with their makeup set perfectly. These women have opened for Bon Jovi! Lucky to be invited to participate, I set out to my local sports shop and bought a new cap, goggles, and swimsuit. Would I be as graceful as them or would I sink to the bottom?
I decided to go glam. I put on my best waterproof makeup, including red lipstick (Chula by Kat Von D, which held up!) and decided to just go for it. I entered the facility, which was in Beverly Hills this past season, but will be in Santa Monica in the spring. I changed into my swimsuit and to my horror realized I forgot my towel (DO NOT FORGET A TOWEL). What’s a little water anyways? I walked into the pool area and met my instructor, Miriam, who helped me fill out the short waiver and showed me around.
Miriam called the group together and we began to stretch. Many of the women were veterans of this class and knew the flow, so they led the newer students through the movements. To finish our warm-up we were asked to do 6-8 laps in the pool. I swam in high school, and suddenly it all came back to me. I happily glided through the warm water. I noticed wires and a round device going into the water, which I realized later was a speaker to direct the swimmers. This made the class so much easier.
We first went over basic moves, holding patterns (or group formation), side swimming, bobbing, sculling, and egg beater (a method of treading water). Don’t get me started on egg beater, this move has to the be the reason all these women looking amazing, 5-10 minutes of it and I was like “Can we call it a day?” We then worked on underwater positions, which, let me tell you, felt crazy at first. Miriam gave me a nose clip as a gift, and that really helped. Forcing yourself to stay underwater takes great effort, and holding my breath like that seemed unnatural. The more we did it though the more I enjoyed it. At the end of class, we put together a short routine and taped it so we could re-watch later.
I was so tired. It was a different kind of exhausted too. I quickly took a shower and changed back into my clothes. Sometimes after running, I won’t be hungry, but after this I was starving. My roommate and I went to Sprinkles cupcakes down the street and then had a bite at the local Panini Cafe. In the spring, I imagine it would be fun to hang out at the Bungalow in Santa Monica or stick around The Annenberg Beach House to catch some sun. Overall, I would recommend this class to those who seek something different from the everyday routine and want to dive into something exotic and beautiful.
Tricks of the Trade
- You need to be a mid-level to strong swimmer to take this class.
- Bring a swimsuit, goggles, swim cap, and a towel.
- Come a few minutes early to get settled and fill out the waiver.
About the Author: McCall is an Actress/ Makeup Artist (currently working for Sephora), living in the heart of West Los Angeles. She is addicted to dark chocolate, Arctic Zero Dairy-Free ice cream, and a good dose of movie theater popcorn (specifically at The Landmark). Her ultimate ClassPass adventure would be either trapeze or horseback riding lessons. But overall, she’s down to try anything. If you see her at a class, or even at work, feel free to say hello!
Follow McCall on Twitter and Instagram: @mccallschenthal