In The Spotlight: The Rife Twins

Meet Rachel and Rebekah Rife !

I had the pleasure of photographing these two lovely ladies back in September. I was really moved by their calm energy, how in sync they were with one another, and those gorgeous eyes !

How long have you been synchronized swimmers? We have been synchronized swimming for 23 years, swimming is easier for us than walking!

What made you start? We had a year of speed swimming under our belts and our dad would always stop and watch the synchro swimmers during his bike rides and he decided we should give it a try.

If you had not become synchronized swimmers, what might you be doing? We always loved the discipline and structure of organized sports as well as the team aspects. We would probably have chosen to swim or play water polo year round as opposed to just one season a year, which is all the time synchro allowed for. Perhaps we would have explored more land sports and saw what stuck. Beach volleyball, gymnastics and snowboarding are three sports we admire and love to watch!

What’s the most difficult part of synchronized swimming? Synchro is very physically demanding and takes a lot of flexibility and strength. We are judged on the degree of difficulty and artistic impression of our routines. To look elegant, effortless and not miss a count all while spending half a routine underwater is part of the complexity and difficulty of the sport. To train properly for national and international competitions takes 35+ hours a week of practice with lots of cross training.

What does it take to become a synchronized swimmer? What skills do you need? Flexibility, coordination, a lean build and being a strong swimmer really help to become a beautiful synchronized swimmer. The best advice we can give like many sports is to start young. It takes a couple years to develop body awareness and to learn the basic sculling techniques. If synchro is started young enough paired with some sort of athletic ability and drive one can learn everything they need to progress in the sport and travel to some amazing competitions!

What do you do for fun? When you are not swimming? We are travel and yoga freaks! Traveling the USA for synchro competitions instilled a fierce travel bug in us and we have been globe-trotting as much as possible ever since. Travel reminds us how vast and diverse the planet is and stimulates our minds like nothing else. Yoga is key for us to feel connected to mind, body and spirit while staying active with little impact on our bodies. Yoga has helped us develop a non-compete attitude for life which is something that has benefited us tremendously since we have stopped competing.

What type of music do you listen to? I guess the technical name for the music we enjoy is deep-tech-house, a type of EDM. It makes us dance and there seems to be a deep soulful element to the beat as well as the others in the crowd.

What are some of your biggest accomplishments? We moved to LA to pursue hosting and quickly we were very burnt out on the traditional way to go about this passion after two years, what we called ‘The Hollywood Hustle’. We knew the work we desired would find us synchronically when the timing was right so we left the rest to divine intervention. We recently teamed up with an amazing educational media group to host programming that is informative and fun for kids and teens. We are so excited to see where this venture takes us and to feel so connected to our work! We also participated in Olympic Trials for synchronized swimming at 17, which was a milestone for us with the sport.

What motivates you? We are motivated by the sun and the moon. It seems the key to achieving any dream or goal is consistency. The sun and the moon make billions of people happy each and every day and it’s because they are so dependable and never let us down. Why not learn from the very things that give us life and vitality?

Who are your idols? Many of our idols are writers, philosophers and gurus of past and present day. We adore Paulo Coelho, Abraham Hicks, Osho, Gary Zukav, Oprah, Deepak Chopra and Paramahansa Yogananda to name a few. We have learned so much from these evolved souls and truly feel like we can call on their work at any time to find answers to questions as they inspire us to grow into the best versions of ourselves. Aside from our teachers we admire anyone who is pursuing their dreams with dedication and persistence. Famous or not, tenacious people that take risks and fearlessly move in the direction of their desires is bone chilling, goose bump giving awesome!

Who’s younger? Rachel is younger but acts older.

In school we were… water logged and always smelled like chloride. We were the girls that were always so tired in class because of how much we practiced outside of school (and got to leave high school at 12:30 everyday ;). We were friends with everyone and never had one group or ‘click’. We liked to take ‘personal health days’ when the weather was good and headed straight to Santa Cruz with our top down! What a day in the ocean and sun can do for the soul!

We are told we look like Nicole Richie, MIA the singer and Hope from Days of Our Lives.

We are really bad at chemistry, not eating all the treats on a table and saying NO(so much sounds so fun all the time)!

We are really good at being there for our friends, staying positive, not taking ourselves too seriously and cooking yummy food and desserts.

We’d love to be able to fly, because it would make our goal of visiting every country a little faster and easier; not much but a little, we will see the entire world either way!

One thing people would be surprised to know about us is we swam with sharks for a job. During the summer of 2013 we were hired to swim in The Dubai Aquarium inside The Dubai Mall with big sharks, stingrays and eels as part of the nightly entertainment. We were able to face a huge fear, while having the scariest and most amazing experience! We love to write and you can catch our blog with travel and other fun experiences on our website.

Best advice we ever received is consistency is the key to success and mastery. Basically whatever your dream is, stay committed to practicing and pursuing it all the time, every day. With dedication the odds will be in your favor.

Photographed in West Hollywood, CA. in swimsuits from Everything But Water.

The Rife Twins by Cassandra Plavoukos
On Set With The Rife Twins by Cassandra Plavoukos