Ladies in high heels showing their perfectly synchronized routine to an audience at Radio City Musical Hall may bring to mind the famous Rockettes, but it's Walnut Creek's own Aquanuts that will take to the legendary New York City stage next week.

The award-winning synchronized swim team is currently competing on the NBC reality talent show "America's Got Talent."

Clad in swimsuits and pink, black and white high heels, the team advanced through the New Orleans and Las Vegas auditions earlier this summer and now is part of the live show, which started Tuesday. The Aquanuts will make an appearance in front of the celebrity judges at Radio City Music Hall Tuesday at 9 p.m. on NBC -- though the team can't yet say where the pool the performance takes place is located.

The nine-member award-winning synchronized swimming team performed a 90-second program choreographed to music from the movie "Burlesque." That original performance was filmed in March, but the team was sworn to secrecy until the show aired.

"We decided to enter in order to promote the Aquanuts and the sport of synchronized swimming," said team coach Kim Probst. "It is incredibly popular and well respected in other countries, so we thought this would be a good way to show America how amazing the sport really is."

Celebrity judges voted the Aquanuts, along with 59 other acts, to perform in New York City. Now, the television audience will determine which groups move to the next round. The eventual winning act will receive $1 million.


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The Aquanuts is a world-renowned synchronized 100-person swim club which has produced 20 Olympic athletes and garnered more than 200 national and world competition titles. The Aquanuts competing on the show are Morgan Boneberg, Sofia Bouzos, McKinzie Chelberg, Alyson Haylor, Sarah House, Jamie Kuchan, Suying Rothrock and Alexa Tchekmarev. Boneberg, Chelberg, Kuchan and Tchekmarev also competed as part of a U.S. National Team that won the silver medal at the U.S. Open in Irving, Texas earlier this month.

The girls practice six to 10 hours a day, and they never touch the bottom of the pool during their performance, said team member Haylor in a YouTube video posted by NBC.

Being on the show "is an accomplishment and a great opportunity," she said.

The Aquanuts attracts swimmers from all over the country to Walnut Creek.

"It has all been really surreal," Chelberg said in a news release. "I moved to California from Minnesota one year ago to join the Aquanuts, and now I'm performing for Heidi Klum. I actually still pinch myself every day."

But it's not just the actual swimmers who are dedicated to the team -- so too are their parents. Each parent of a team member must volunteer at bingo one to four nights per month at the Blue Devils Bingo Hall in Concord; proceeds from bingo support Aquanuts operations and expenses.

So dedicated to Walnut Creek and the program is the team that if the Aquanuts win the ultimate $1 million prize from "America's Got Talent," they would put the money toward a new pool at the city's Clarke Swim Center.

"Our pool has basically run its course and the city of Walnut Creek is unable to support aquatics in the future," Probst said. "The burden will be on the aquatic clubs to fund our new pool and keep our programs alive."

The city has estimated that rebuilding the failing pools at Clarke will cost an estimated $25 million.

To see the team up close, their next live performance for the community will be held Aug. 29 through Sept. 1 at 8 p.m. each night. To find out more about the Aquanuts go to www.aquanuts.org.

Contact Elisabeth Nardi at 925-952-2617. Follow her at Twitter.com/enardi10.