Review: Mermaid School for Adults
By Kate Kaushal
Back when summer vacation was a thing, my friends and I used to spend as much time as possible in the pool. We would play games of tag and tea party but our favorite thing was pretending like we were mermaids. We would swim under each others legs, practice our handstands and wish we were shimmery sea ladies.
Turns out you don't have to pretend anymore! You can learn to live under the sea with AquaMermaid classes. Surprisingly, although Ariel made her debut back in the 80s, mermaid classes made a splash just recently. Started by Marielle Chartier Hénault and located in 8 cities in the U.S. and Canada, Aquamermaid classes gives men and women of all ages a chance to mix fitness and fun.
I headed over to University of Illinois Chicago to explore the bottomless blue as a brand new mermaid.
Prepping for Class
So what do you need to master to transform into mermaid OR merman? Sea necessities include:
- Swimsuit that slays (one or two piece)
- Goggles and swim cap (not required but good for chlorine)
- A Davey Jones *Lock* for all your valuables and a towel
- Nose clip (wish I would-a had one when I got water up my nose several times)
- Charged cell phone or underwater camera to catch your dips and flips
- Some swimming ability*
*You can take a class without strong swimming skills but you may not fully be able to embrace your inner sea siren. To make yourself more comfortable, you can alternately bring ladies of similar swimming ability so you have someone in the same *boat* as you!
Mermaid Rebecca led our school of fish in our journey to would-be mermaids. Our first step was suiting up in our tails.
How do you transform from legs to fins?
Warning: Ursula the Sea Witch is not included for easier transformation. Luckily, you don't need magic to change into a mermaid. However, this probably was one of the least graceful moments of my life.
First, you get your monofin (a snorkel flipper set merged into one fin) and fit it over your feet.
Next, you pick out your beautiful tail and shimmy it over your monofin and up your legs which feels like you're getting eaten by a spandex python. BUT, you will feel slightly glamorous once you get situated.
What kind of workout is it?
Mermaid classes ain't no joke. You will work out your entire body during class. Here's a few tricks and techniques you might learn during your sea sesh.
Once we were merm-ified, we jumped in to learn to navigate our new tails. Mermaid Rebecca started us with dolphin kick practice. We flipped our fins to try and master the full body roll required for the dolphin kick. This kick is a kicka*@ workout for your abs and hips.
For Upper Body:
After the dolphin kick practice, Mermaid Rebecca showed us the sculling technique to help us be buoyant mermaids. In basic sculling, you move your hands in a figure eight motion under the water with your palms down.
For Lower Body:
Tail High Five
Mermaid Rebecca introduced this move as the official Mermaid Hello. This “Hello” is a heyooo on your legs and booty. Basically, you have to lean back and force your heavy monofin out of the water while you scull to keep yourself afloat. Then you give other mermaids a celebratory high five.
Throughout class, you will be given extra chances to practice different flips, twists and even synchronized swimming moves with your fellow daughters of Triton.
At the end of class, we were treated to photo-ops and Mermaid Rebecca knew all the poses to us felt like like mysterious mythical beings.