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Water Ballet Team in Search of Water

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Richmond's amateur water-ballet team is looking for a new place to kick around in after learning that it's no longer welcome at the Downtown YMCA.

The River City Magnolias started practicing at the Y shortly after forming last year, and since have performed their synchronized routines at area pools and in the James River. Contract extension talks with the YMCA broke down in August, manager Ingrid Schatz says, and the team received what she calls a "cold" 30-day termination notice.

The team hoped to practice throughout the winter, without which Schatz says "we can't come back with a more polished feel."

The YMCA had hoped to keep the team, says Charlotte Dean, communications director for the Greater Richmond YMCA, but wanted the Magnolias to switch practice times to allow more of the Y's members to use the pool.

"It took up a lot of the pool space," Dean says. "We've enjoyed the time with them and we hope to work with them [again]."

Schatz says the team, which adds a modern flair to the retro style of water ballet รก la Esther Williams, is looking for an indoor pool with a section that's at least 10 feet deep.

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