A five decade tradition comes to an end: Synchronized Swimming season canceled in Prairie Village

A performance from the 2012 Water Show.

It’s looking all but certain that Prairie Village won’t have a Water Show this July for the first time in more than 50 years.

Prairie Village Assistant Danielle Dulin, who oversees the city’s pool operations, announced this week that the city had failed to find a coach for the synchronized swimming team this year — meaning the annual July Water Show is off.

The team was in danger of having its season canceled last year for lack of a coach as well, but Nancy Morgan, a former team member and coach, stepped forward at the last minute to head up the program.

But Morgan has switched jobs (and is working part time on the side) and now has a schedule that won’t permit her to coach this summer. Dulin said the city had approached a handful of other potential coaches, but none were able to commit.

Morgan, one of the program’s biggest advocates, said the news of the team’s demise has hit her hard.

“I was really struck by how disappointed I was by the news,” Morgan said. “The program has been such an excellent way for girls to combine athleticism and grace, and work as a team toward the water show. There is a quality about the evening of the water show that is like a step back in time. A glimpse of small town America. After over 50 years to have Prairie Village lose this unique program and event is disheartening.”

But Morgan holds out hope that the team may be resurrected in coming years.

“I don’t think there is a loss of interest in the team, but rather an inability to find a person with the time and experience to be the head coach,” she said, adding that she held out hope that someone who hears about the situation may still step up to save the team. “I would hope that if the right person stepped forward to take on the coaching position, the city would reconsider its decision. As for future seasons, I would happily coach again next year if the opportunity arose.”