Under the Sea

Meet the Aqualillies! (Photos)

Meet the Aqualillies in this striking photo essay from Katie Orlinsky.

Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images

Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images

Swimming Sensations!

Known as the "Rockettes of the Water," The Aqualillies combine the gracefulness of ballet with the athleticism of synchronized swimming to create an elegant, awe-inspiring performance. Founded by Mesha Kusmann, the group performs in vintage, pin-up style swimwear, decorative bathing caps, and even high heels to embody the Old Hollywood glamour of the 1940s and 1950s. Now celebrities in their own right—the troupe has performed for celebs like Justin Timberlake and the Kardashians, and even made a cameo in Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj’s music video for “Beauty and the Beat”—the team is now expanding outside their Southern California base to places like New York, Miami, and San Francisco.

In this photo essay, Katie Orlinsky takes a look at the synchronized-swimming sensations.

Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images

Dressed in Robin's-egg blue bathing suits, the Aqualillies rehearse for a show at a private birthday party in Beverly Hills with coordinating pink bathing caps and umbrellas.

Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images

The Aqualillies transform goggles and swim caps into fashion statements while performing in California.

Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images

An underwater view of the Aqualillies during a sychronized-swimming class in California. The team's body movements mimic the gracefulness of ballerinas.

Katie Orlinsky

The Aqualillies prepare for a performance at the Ritz-Carlton in South Beach, Miami, where the troupe holds monthly performances that are open to the public. The girls sport coordinating hot-pink swimsuits and umbrellas.

Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images

The girls get a little help from Kusmann to tuck their hair into their bathing caps before practicing a routine.

Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images

Turning their bodies into a circle resembling a ferris wheel, the Aqualillies practice their moves in black, cut-out bathing suits at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica.

Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images

With the perfect beach view in the background, it's no surprise the Aqualillies's home base is in California. Here, the troupe forms a circular pattern in alternating black and pink one-pieces at the Annenberg Beach House in Santa Monica.

Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images

Swift at pulling crazy tricks and performing acrobatics in the water, the Aqualillies practice some upside-down dance movements.

Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images

The Aqualillies prove that being underwater doesn't have to cramp their style. Here, they wear white, ankle-strap high heels.

Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images

All steps of the Aqualillies performances focus around teamwork, from getting ready behind the scenes to the execution of their routines.

Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images

Only the Aqualillies can make jumping into a pool appear graceful. The troupe performs at a private birthday party in Beverly Hills, California.

Katie Orlinsky

Emily, a 25-year-old Aqualilly, shows off her dancer-meets-swimmer bod in high-waisted bikini bottoms, a yellow bandeau top, and a scarf-style headband.

Katie Orlinsky

Twenty-four-year-old Aqualilly member Georgia poses after a performance in NYC in a blue and white chevron bikini, dark eye makeup, and bright red lipstick.

Katie Orlinsky/Reportage by Getty Images

While off duty, Aqualily members still sport their team pride in namesake clothing. Troupe members also give back to their community by teaching synchronized-swimming workshops in Santa Monica and Griffith Park, California. They will be launching a national fitness program in 2014.