If a single figure skater is a marvel, a team of figure skaters is practically a miracle.
Welcome to the beautiful, cold, hard world of synchronized ice skating—the toughest sport you’ve never heard of.
For the first time ever, there is now a feature length documentary on U.S. synchronized skating, and it’s already attracting nationwide attention. Life in Synchro, a film by Angela Pinaglia, has been selected for seven film festivals across the country, including the Oxford Film Festival in Mississippi and the San Luis Obispo Film Festival in California.
Life in Synchro will premiere at the Ocean City Film Festival in Ocean City, Md. on Thursday, March 5, followed by a second showing in Ocean City on Friday, March 6.
Sarah Nelson, originally from Princess Anne, helped bring the movie to life as the co-cinematographer. Sarah met Angela, the film’s director, at American University where they were both pursuing graduate degrees in film. They first worked together on Sarah’s thesis film, Disconnect, which screened at the Richmond International Film Festival in 2015.
Synchronized skating teams consist of eight to 20 skaters executing challenging formations and step sequences at speed, in perfect unison. There are 18 levels in the United States, with the top-performing teams at the junior and senior levels representing Team USA at international competitions, the most prestigious being the ISU World Championships.
The sport, called synchro for short, was denied a spot in the 2022 Olympics, but skaters and teams around the world are still hopeful for an Olympic debut at the 2026 Games. Even without an Olympic debut, synchronized skating is gaining more traction and visibility each day.
Synchro has been empowering generations of women since 1956 when it was founded by a father who saw the need for team sports for girls. Life in Synchro brings the viewer inside the “synchro bubble” showcasing how these skaters continue to lift, leap, and spin together in ways the rink has never seen before, despite the fact that this innovative sport is overlooked by mainstream media.
“This film shows how synchro empowers girls and women to be leaders and teaches them strength through community. These are important lessons, especially in today’s society, that I hope will resonate not just with the synchro community, but with everyone,” explained the film’s producer, Nicole Davies.
It seems that these important lessons from the film are resonating with reviewers. The film was described as “light in spirit, deep in meaning” by one reviewer. Another observes, it’s “with a real sense of love and respect, [Life in Synchro] craft[s] a complete portrait of the passion of synchronized skating—a story which is well overdue.” A different reviewer shared a similar sentiment, appreciating the documentary’s “energy, the warmth and the unflinching content.”
Life in Synchro “really hits on all the important aspects of why people love synchronized skating…it’s about the relationships, working towards a common goal, teamwork. It’s beautifully, beautifully done,” said a local synchro team director, Cass Milosh.
You don’t have to be a skater to appreciate the film—a non-skating member in the audience at an early rough-cut screening of the documentary explained, “I entered a world I didn’t know existed, and I never wanted to leave.”
On vastly different journeys, the incredible women and the determined teams in the film are out to prove the staying power of synchro, and just like the characters in the documentary, the documentary itself is out to prove the same.
For more information or to sign up for the film’s mailing list visit: https://lifeinsynchro.com
For a full list of screenings visit: https://lifeinsynchro.com/screenings
To follow Life in Synchro on social media visit: https://www.facebook.com/LifeInSynchro
Questions, contact: [email protected]