Nicole Sciarrillo and Nicole Salm are the founders of the Brooklyn Peaches, a recreational synchronized swimming team that holds classes for those dying to get their feet wet—and poke them daintily out of the water.
The two 30-somethings are making waves for the glam water sport by treating it more like a boutique fitness class that pretty much anyone can do. No synchronized swimming experience is necessary.
“If you know how to swim and love to dance, then we will help you put the two together in the water,” says Sciarrillo, who co-founded the team in 2010. Otherwise, a willingness to wear a nose clip is pretty much the only requirement, lest you spend the class with water up your nostrils. And while the class skews female, it’s absolutely co-ed.
The workout is tough but fun and even chatty at times. Each class begins with five minutes of treading water egg-beater style. “It’s an essential skill in synchronized swimming because it frees up your arms for graceful gestures above the water, so we practice each time we get in the pool,” says Sciarrillo, who’s been doing synchro since she was six.
And while your head’s out of the water, chatting is acceptable in this fitness class. It builds camaraderie, and gives you a chance to make nice with those likely to get a face full of water from you while you’re learning flips and tricks.
Next, the Peaches use the side of the pool as a ballet barre. Nicole Salm, who studied ballet for 12 years, spearheads this section. Picture a gravitationally challenged Physique 57 session, with extra resistance. “It really strengthens our legs and core, keeps us focused on posture,” says Sciarrillo.
After another 15 minutes on “drills and skills,” the duration of class focuses on a routine set to music (Deee-Lite’s “Party People” is a recent fave), which is probably the most upbeat part of class.
Abby Schuman, of the Dodge Y on Atlantic Avenue where class are held, says it’s an incredibly popular class because “it’s a really fun exercise that tones your whole body. During a routine, you’re never touching the bottom of the pool. You’re treading water the whole time. Swimming laps is easier!” —Melisse Gelula
The Dodge Y, 225 Atlantic Ave., between Court and Smith Streets, Brooklyn; Classes are held Tuesday nights 8:00–9:00 p.m. For non-members, 4-week class series $90 (October 2–23), 8-week series $180 (October 30–December 18). https://register.ymcanyc.org/programs/RT?branch=41
For more information, updates, and some super cute photos, visit facebook.com/thebrooklynpeaches