What is Artistic Swimming?
Artistic swimming (formerly called synchronized swimming) is a hybrid form of swimming, dance and gymnastics, consisting of swimmers (either solos, duets, trios, combos, or teams) performing a synchronized routine of elaborate moves in the water, accompanied by music.
Artistic swimming demands advanced water skills, and requires great strength, endurance, flexibility, grace, artistry, and precise timing, as well as exceptional breath control when upside down underwater.
Artistic swimming is both an individual and team sport. Swimmers compete individually during figures, and then as a team during the routine. Figures are made up of a combination of skills and positions that often require control, strength, and flexibility. Swimmers are ranked individually for this part of the competition. The routine involves teamwork and synchronization. It is choreographed to music and often has a theme.
Artistic Swimming Terminology
Figures - Involve the judging of each swimmer in four figures. A “figure” is a combination of body positions and transitional movements, which have interesting names such as Catalina, Barracuda, and Surface Prawn. To view an artistic swimming figure visit: https://artisticswimming.ca/resources/competitions/2017-2021-figures-required-elements/
Routine - Involves swimmers in solo, duet, and team competition. A “routine” is a timed program containing parts of figures, strokes, and body movements choreographed to music.
Judge - Most judges are recruited from the artistic swimming community. Many have (or had) a daughter in the sport, or have been swimmers themselves. All judges are volunteers, so please show them the respect they deserve. Everyone interested in learning more about artistic swimming should take at least one judging course. They are provided free of charge by Saskatchewan Artistic Swimming. It is a great way to learn exactly what swimmers are trying to achieve, and it certainly gives an appreciation for the technical skills required to be an artistic swimmer.