French Open Tech Duet Competition Preparation

The duet training squad leaves for French Open on Monday!! As part of our preparation, we did a competition simulation. This means we get up extra early, knox our hair, wear makeup, and costumes. We also replicate the warmup we plan to do at the meet, including the amount of music time, and also having to wait before we actually “compete”.

Claire compared it to taking the SAT, not only do you need to know the information, you have to know how to take the test. For synchro, not only do you need to show up with your routine, you have to know how to prepare to perform.

Here is Claire and I just before we “competed”:

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I think the biggest thing I am personally working on is staying completely focused in the present moment. This is much more difficult with added distractions, like costumes, waiting, other competitors, etc.

It was really cool seeing the universe conspire to help me stay present. For example, during land warmup, I had a fluke head to head collision with a teammate. As I walked to the restroom, I could feel my mind’s wheel’s turning, taking the opportunity to begin worrying about anything and everything. Right then the swim coach called out, “I can’t wait to see you guys perform!!”. It cut the tension like a knife, I had to smile. My mind silenced, I was grounded and back in the present.

It happened several more times that day, later, at workout, a brief touch and a “good work” from a teammate, and a “hey mermaid!” from a gym employee. Each experience kind of brought me back to reality.

Here is the plan I follow to stay present:

1. Recognize the initial negative thought pattern of getting stuck in your head – being somewhere else is never going to help you figure out now!
2. Openly ask the universe to help you stay grounded in the present moment
3. Stay open to the signs and signals

In other news, we did a pretty cool photoshoot with Aaron Okayama.
Here is one of the pics:

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The rest are posted on my Athlete Page.
Be sure to hit ‘Like’ for Ali Williams while you are there! 🙂

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Team One Goes to Vegas!

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!

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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.

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Sunday, we tried Ariel Yoga at Shine Alternative Fitness. It is like a silk hammock….you do inversions, stretches, and strengthening.

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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:

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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:

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We enjoyed our visit, but are happy to be back in Moraga training!

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Exhibition on Saturday at SODA Aquatic Center

Hi!

FYI the US Senior National Team will be debuting their 2015 routines at the SODA Aquatic Center this upcoming Saturday, December 20, at 3:30pm.

Check out the flyer:

Christmas Show Synchro 2014

* Pictures by Rey Del Fierro Photography
* Hair and makeup by Blush School Of Makeup
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