Last weekend, the athletes on Team One had the opportunity to visit Las Vegas. We had an amazing trip, doing some specialized training, seeing some inspiring shows, and bonding as a group.
Here are some of the highlights:
We got to see the synchro show at the Wynn hotel, Le Reve, and do a meet and greet with the cast!
So many beautiful mermaids in one place 🙂
We also did a special training session with the head coach of Le Reve synchronized swimming, Dacha. She encouraged us to forget everything we know about synchronized swimming, and instead focus on our expressions and performance alone. This was a challenge; how do we forget all that we do every day? We each had to do short solos with an emotion or state of being and music as prompting. She encouraged us to connect with a feeling inside, and not to get distracted by thinking about what we were doing.
On Sunday, we did an acrobatics training session atL’Oracle Gym, with our usual acrobatics coach, performer and instructor in Le Reve, Raman. More unusually we were joined by Benoit, a synchronized swimmer in Le Reve, as well as Ross, the main character of the Cirque show Mystere. We worked both on our individual acrobatics, as well as some lift ideas for the team.
Sunday, we tried Ariel Yoga at Shine Alternative Fitness. It is like a silk hammock….you do inversions, stretches, and strengthening.
On Sunday night, we got to see Cirque de Soleil’s ‘O’. The performance was mesmerizing. We got to do with a meet and greet with the synchro cast:
Monday, just before our return to Nor Cal, we did an acting class with main character and head coach of Le Reve, Didier Antoine. This was my personal favorite experience of the weekend. The session felt like a culmination of our prior experiences. It was far from reading a script. Instead, he utilized different cues and music to have us experiment with different characters. An example is trying to physically represent each of the four elements. He also developed characters for each of us…caricatures of behaviors or mannerisms he observed. One lesson was that individual differences that we may typically be self conscious about are what become most useful in the performance world. Instead of hiding these traits, he brought them out more animatedly.
Most importantly, he called on us to let go of our judgement about ourselves.
One final shot of the group:
We enjoyed our visit, but are happy to be back in Moraga training!