Hudson -- Residents can cheer a group of girls performing synchronized swimming routines reminiscent of Esther Williams.

The free Synchronized Swim Show is Aug. 3 at 6:15 p.m. at the LifeCenter Plus Health and Fitness Center located at 5133 Darrow Road in Hudson.

The show features performances by the Synchro Mermaids (children) and In Sync (adult) synchronized swim teams.

The adult coach, Kathleen Richards, asked LCP aquatics director Jennifer Larkin to help coach the girls team, and with help from other members of In Sync, the girls are ready to perform for the public. The Synchro Mermaids has 12 girls from ages 5 through 14 and will show off their skills in two routines.

The show opens with a flag dance to the "Star Spangled Banner" on the deck. The girls wear matching caps and carry fake lollipops in their performance of "Lollipop, lollipop" and use sunflower props and big orange and yellow inner tubes for their second performance.

In addition to the Synchro Mermaids, the In Sync adult team will perform, Richards will perform a solo and a trio will perform a routine.

Richards, 68, said she would like to leave a legacy to the younger swimmers and members of both teams.

"Since Esther Williams death in 2013, I have always felt like it was my job to carry on Esther's legacy, this Olympic sport," Richards said.

Richards admits she didn't have speed as a swimmer but had good form, which is needed for diving and synchronized swimming.

Others taught her the skills, and she became a choreographer in high school. At Kent State University she was one of 30 women on the Sharks Team, and she was president of the Sharks Club.

"I have a background of performance but never did competitive synchronized swimming," Richards said.

Ten years ago when Richards learned about an adult synchronized swimming team in Hudson founded by Betty Buckles, a 1956 national synchro champion, she joined and took over after Buckles died.

"Betty was competitive and technical, but I was queen of performance," she said. "We made a great team."

It takes eight women to help make the Synchro Mermaids' show happen, but they want to highlight the hard work of the girls and encourage others to join, Richards said.

"Lisa Petrosky makes unbelievable costumes," Richards said. "And I couldn't do my job without Assistant Coach Trudy Painting. She's my right arm."

The adult team has 11 members representing every generation.

"We are always looking for new members," Richards said.

Those interested in synchronized swimming need to be strong swimmers, Richards said.

"It looks pretty and nice, but it's difficult with a lot of core strength needed," she said.

Besides knowing the fundamental strokes of swimming, graceful movements transfer the swimmer from one end to the other and stunts like somersaults round out the routines.

"We all feel like mermaids in the water, but we're working out really hard," Richards said. "When we're done with class, I'm really tired, but I want to be tired. You think this stuff is easy, but it's an Olympic sport."


Phone: 330-541-9434

Twitter: @LauraFreeman_RP