Apr. 29, 2021 -- The 2020-2021 Cleveland Heights High School Swim Cadets, a 17-member synchronized swim club, will present its annual show on May 6-8, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. at the Heights High pool. The theme of this year’s show is Swim Cadets Undercover.
The club, led by determined young women who sacrificed many of their high school traditions during this pandemic year, did everything in their power to persuade the administration that the show “must go on.”
To follow Covid safety protocols and because only a limited amount of seating is available to maintain social distancing, only family members of the performers will be allowed to attend in person. Family members must purchase tickets directly from their cadet prior to the performance dates. All attendees must enter through the school’s main entrance for a brief health screening and wear a proper face mask prior to being admitted.
However, because the show is a popular school event every spring, students and the community are welcome to view the show free via YouTube livestream
for the Friday, May 7 performance. Viewers watching from home are invited to make an online donation, to be made available in the link. More details on how to do so will be on the group’s Facebook
pages closer to the date.
High school synchronized swim teams are a rarity, and this group maintains special significance as the oldest extracurricular club at Heights High, with 82 years in existence. Because of its strong tradition and emphasis on female empowerment, the club maintains its popularity with multi-generational alumni.
The students are responsible for all creative aspects of the show, including choreography, music, theater lighting and costuming, as well as recruiting "guy cadets" to perform during costume changes. The club fundraises regularly in order to present a high-level, entertaining production, full of athleticism, grace and teamwork. The annual performance is the result of five months of 12 to 15-hour practice weeks. Julianna Clark, an alumna cadet (2011–15), serves as swim cadet advisor.
Sophia Forniti and Anna Turner, both seniors, lead the club as co-presidents. Both have attended district schools since Kindergarten; they met and became friends in 4th grade.
"Being a swim cadet has been the highlight of my time at Heights," said Forniti, who has been a cadet since freshmen year. "This club has allowed me to grow and become the best version of myself. I’m forever grateful that I got to spend nearly every day with this amazing group of incredibly hard working girls. I’m endlessly proud of and thankful for each and every member of the team.”
Anna Turner, also a member since 9th grade, added, "This year was a challenge, but the other officers and I have done all we could to make this year as fun and normal as possible! I love this club with all my heart and I am so thankful to everyone who has been a part of it. Coming to practice each day with team members is the best part of my week, and I will miss it dearly.”
Other seniors are Arden Lindberg (Treasurer) and Zoe Burns (Secretary). Juniors are Ella Herr (Sergeant at Arms), Lily Fawcett-Dubow, Sophia Marotta, Estelle Covault, and Serenity Parker. Sophomores are Ruby Blackman, Rachel O’Keeffe, and Clarissa Gorjanc. Freshmen are Polly Routh, Lucia Mitchell, Clara Lyford, Harper Walker, and Ruby Tugeau.
Front row (left to right) Lucia Mitchell, Serenity Parker, Ruby Blackman. 2nd row: Sophia Marotta, Anna Turner, Lily Fawcett-Dubow, Harper Walker, Rachel O’Keeffe. 3rd row: Sophia Forniti, Ella Herr, Polly Routh, Clara Lyford, Ruby Tugeau. 4th row: Zoe Burns, Clarissa Gorjanc, Estelle Covault, Arden Lindberg.