Synchronized swimming is one of the most physically grueling sports -- and one of the most graceful.
Texas may be football country, but the most grueling athletic event played in the Metroplex this week won't be on any field or court.
"They can lift swimmers and throw them and toss them," said meet manager Beth Evans. "It's just incredible what they can do without ever touching the bottom of the pool."
Teams typically perform routines longer than four minutes, holding their breath for up to 30 seconds at a time while treading water and dancing in sync to music.
The goal is always perfection.
"It's performing and athleticism, so you need to be a very strong swimmer and have a lot of aerobic endurance," said Karen Josepheson, who is coaching a team from northern California.
Competitors range in age from 15 to 18 for the juniors circuit. Swimmers age 18 and older are on the senior teams, which will feature the USA's and China's national teams, along with teams from Canada, the Dominican Republic, Korea and Mexico.
The competition continues through Sunday at the North Lake College Natatorium in Irving.