Aquadettes by Drea Cooper and Zackary Canepari
Aquadettes by Drea Cooper and Zackary is a lovely and moving short film about a group of women from Leisure World, a retirement community in Orange County, California, who practise and perform synchronized swimming to maintain their health and strength.
The film follows Margo Bouer (aged 75 at the time of filming) who has been an Aquadette for more than 15 years. She talks about what it means getting old, dealing with MS and how taking medical marijuana has helped. The video ends with words that really moved me.
I've gotta remember how I used to feel. I mean, I gotta remember what used to make me enthusiastic. I'd go down and go right now surfing if I had someone who could help me get back out.
I gotta remember I want to do those things, that I WANT to do those things, because if you come to a point when you don't want to do any of these things, then where is life. Margo Bouer
Some are in their early 60s and have only been participating for a few years. Others have been members since the 80s and are still at it even though they are well into their 80s. Once in a while, there is one that turns 90 and is rewarded with her own solo. Some are Flyers because they are small and some are Pushers because they are strong. Some are part of the Base because they are adept with the Egg Beater kick.
All of them wear nose clips and swim caps. In past performances, they've dressed like bumble bees, cowgirls and large pieces of fruit. According to their website, "Sequines are meant to enhance the performance." For their finale, they'll swim to California Girls by the Beach Boys. Their names are Beverly, Margo, Nancy, Margaret, Joan, Judy, Dottie, Aldana, Joyce and Bess. Every year, they practice together, they make costumes together, they swim together, and at the end, they perform together. A 45-year ritual that began in a place appropriately called Leisure World. Deep in the heart of Orange County, California, the ladies of the Aquadettes are training harder than ever.