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Co-Ed Synchronized Swimming Club Dives Into Park Slope Pool

By Leslie Albrecht | September 30, 2015 9:30am
 Americans Kristina Lum Underwood and Bill May compete at the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia in July 2015. A new synchronized swimming club in Brooklyn is welcoming both men and women.
Americans Kristina Lum Underwood and Bill May compete at the 16th FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia in July 2015. A new synchronized swimming club in Brooklyn is welcoming both men and women.
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Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

PARK SLOPE — People with outstanding lung capacity and a flair for performing underwater now have an outlet for their skills in Park Slope.

Two synchronized swimmers have launched the Brooklyn Synchro Club to teach the Olympic sport to adults.

"It’s a great workout using your body and your muscles, but also using your mind," said club co-founder Emily Kokernak. "You have to be coordinated with the music as well as with your teammates. I really like the complexity of the sport."

Kokernak and swimmer Alice Denie will co-teach a five-week, $125 class on Wednesday nights at the Berkeley Carroll School's pool on President Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues starting this week. (The Berkeley Carroll School pool is open to the public but swimmers must pay a membership fee.)

Kokernak, who's been a synchronized swimmer since she was 12, is on a break from competing because she had a baby earlier this year. She's performed with Gotham Synchro and coached the team at the 2014 masters division world championships in Montreal.

Though known for high-kicking swimmers in sparkly bathing suits and waterproof mascara, Brooklyn Synchro is open to both men and women, Kokernak said.

An American man, Bill May, became the first male to win a synchronized swimming world championship earlier this year, Kokernak noted.

"It's pretty exciting and it encourages other boys to join the sport," Kokernak said.