What is synchronized swimming?
A gymnast performing underwater. A 400-meter freestyle event in swimming with little opportunity to breathe. The figures, leaps and spins of a figure skater performed in an unstable medium. The water polo player’s ability to emerge above the surface of the water with power and strength with an added touch of elegance. A dancer’s artistic flair with choreography, musical expressions, audience contact. Add grace and fluidity and multiply by two, three or eight individuals synchronizing each part of every movement and THAT IS SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING!
MEET THE COACH
Samantha Elhart came to love the sport of Artistic Swimming as a young swimmer. Since that time, she has built her legacy in the sport as an athlete, coach and judge. All of these vital artistic swimming roles have occurred in Virginia. She began artistic swimming under Kris Olson with the Northern Virginia Nereids, then continued in a collegiate varsity program at the University of Richmond with Peg Hogan.
After UR, Samantha focused on her teaching career which started in Chesterfield, VA and continued when she and her husband, Brad moved to Michigan. While in Michigan, Samantha enjoyed teaching and coaching a local speed swimming team.
After giving birth to two daughters and a son, the family moved to Charlottesville, Virginia. There Elhart rejoined the world of grace, glitter, and gel, with full fervor, starting her own team in the fall of 2012. She had a desire to share the sport she loved with athletes in the Charlottesville area and thus the Charlottesville Swans Synchronized Swimming Team was formed in 2012.
Coach Sam, as her swimmers affectionately call her, has led the growth and development of the team to higher level competitions while maintaining a fun atmosphere. She combines her knowledge of child development and teaching expertise to provide an atmosphere of continual learning for her athletes and other coaches.
She helped strengthen the Virginia Region, and other regions up and down the East Coast by providing a week-long residential synchro camp for athletes for the past five years. Coaches that are among the best in the country have been hired by Elhart to teach the next generation of aspiring synchronized swimmers each summer.
The Charlottesville Swans Synchronized Swimming Team is now in its ninth season and the tradition continues on under her tutelage. Mrs. Elhart’s girls are given the courage to achieve greatness, but are conscious that they’re not defined by their wins or losses, it’s about the enablement of athletes enjoying themselves, while allowing them to feel the timelessness of being part of a team.
The Swans have grown to be the most competitive team in Virginia, qualifying multiple routines each year to compete at the Junior Olympics National Championships, 13-15 Nationals, and Junior Nationals meets.
The Swans offer programs for Novice, Intermediate, and Age Group swimmers ages 12 and Under, 13-15, and 16-17 and 18-19. We chorography routines to fun music of all popular genres.
In addition to competing, the Charlottesville Swans perform locally for audiences at their end of season watershow in May and at their summer camp watershow each August. Local performances are held at the Swans home pool, Fairview Swim and Tennis Club or their summer pool, Fry Spring’s Beach Club.
We invite any interested swimmers to take advantage of our summer camp and “Try Synchro” events held in August-September to determine if Synchronized swimming is a sport for them!