A couple years ago, I was intrigued that a number of young women were making a living as professional mermaids. (See Water Ways, Jan. 27, 2014). Since then, the idea of becoming a mermaid for a day, a week or longer has caught on, with mermaid schools opening throughout the world.
Crimson Resort and Spa in the Philippines claims to be the first mermaid school in the world, but others were soon behind.
In New York, World of Swimming, a nonprofit corporation, inspires young people to become swimmers through lessons, swimming camps and other activities.
The first short video on this page features young mermaid swimmers accompanied by music as they swim about by swishing their tails. In the second video (also below), ABC News reporter Sara Haines takes the plunge in a first-person report to see what it is like to become a mermaid. The piece made the airwaves on Good Morning America.
In Vermont, reporter Sarah Tuff Dunn goes to mermaid school for the online publication “Seven Days” and is thoroughly enchanted after putting on her mermaid tail with its built-in swim fins.
“I felt the tail rise as if magically,” she wrote. “I released my hands from the wall and began to swim … like a mermaid. A doggy-paddling mermaid, mind you, and one who momentarily panicked when she realized she couldn’t scissor-kick her legs.”
Sarah, who soon catches on to swimming like a dolphin, discusses the risks of drowning with one’s legs tied together, and she explains why mermaid schools tend to emphasize safety.
What I find interesting about this mermaid trend is that children are getting excited about swimming. Being a mermaid or merman expands their confidence as they hold their breath under water for longer periods of time while building up their muscles for what could become a lifelong interest in aquatic sports — or at least some basic survival skills.
For those who operate or would like to operate a mermaid school, there is a newly formed International Mermaid Swimmers Instructors Association.
Other mermaid schools:
- AquaMermaid or Aquasirene, Toronto, billed as Canada’s first mermaid school. YouTube video.
- FreeDive, UK, billed as the first mermaid school in Great Brittain.
- Mayim Mermaid Academy, South Coast, United Kingdom.
- Sirenas Mediterranean Academy, billed as Spain’s first school for mermaids, featured in the Wall Street Journal.
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