In a beautiful combination of ballet and swimming, a group of synchronized swimmers known as the Aqualillies will make anyone believe in the magic of mermaids.
Featured in swimming pools across the country, the Aqualillies made their biggest splash when they began receiving phone calls from stars like Justin Bieber who featured the ‘Lillies in his latest music video for “Beauty and a Beat.” The ‘Lillies have also done many private events in Hollywood including Justin Timberlake’s 30th birthday bash. Even the TV series Glee knew they had to feature the “underwater Rockettes.”
“Nothing is better than performing and seeing people smile and clap and appreciate what you are doing,” says one of the “Lillies,” Alejandra Miranda. “It’s a novelty to most people, so they really appreciate what we are doing.”
Reinventing the pool party, the synchronized swimming phenomenon begs the question: Why swim when you can dance? Founder Mesha Kussman got the idea for the Aqualillies at a pool party and she knew she wanted to bring this beautiful art to the masses. Kussman is expanding the company with performers now based in New York, Las Vegas, and Miami.
The ”Lillies” are a combination of trained swimmers who learned to dance and dancers who are diving in from all over the world. Colombian native Miranda swam for the Colombian National Team until she packed her swimsuit and moved to Los Angeles with the help of family in the United States.
“The transition was not easy,” Miranda explains “I was 16 and all I knew was how I had grown up in Colombia. Everything here [United States] is pretty different.”
Miranda, learned about the Aqualillies from a close friend who had seen the ‘Lillies perform at The Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, CA, she picked up the phone and joined the company in 2012. “There is something about synchronized swimming that is very special. I think it’s very unique in that it combines athleticism and gracefulness,” says Miranda about her newest gig.
“Being a ‘Lillie brings back those amazing memories of those moments when I was a little girl and worked really hard for a competition, and the moment to perform it came. Feeling the adrenaline rush, the people cheering, your focus, nerves… there’s a lot of that still happens being a ‘Lillie.”
As creative director, Kussman was confident Miranda would be the perfect ‘Lillie. “She made a strong impression right away,” says Kussman about Miranda’s first audition. “She is a beautiful woman with a strong personality.”
Miranda’s passion for synchronized swimming can only be matched by her love for animals. Currently on the path to becoming a pre-veterinary student Miranda keeps busy with both rehearsals for the Aqualillies and her school work. “It’s a long and hard road,” Miranda says, “and I want to pursue it.”