Recently, I got to live out one of my most cherished childhood fantasies. I spent the afternoon as a flippin’ mermaid.Ariel
Yes, my friends. The underwater experience once reserved for Triton’s daughters and Daryl Hannah in Splash can now be yours, courtesy of Aquamermaid. Founded by professional monofin instructor Marielle Chartier-Hénault, Aquamermaid is the largest mermaid school in the world, offering classes to women, men and kids across Canada and the United States.

Naturally, I had to check it out.

By the time I arrived at the school’s Montreal location for my trial class, I was beyond excited. I mean YES I’m an independent, strong, grown woman but like zomg you guys I was about to be a friggin Disney princess for a minute. 

Plus – I’m a Pisces. Mermaids are my spirit animals.

A friendly instructor led me to a pile of mermaid tails, and I picked a pinkish-purple one to match my bikini. I shimmied into my neoprene, polyester mermaid tail with pockets for your feet, an adjustable strap and a monofin.

mermaid selfie

After a few obligatory selfies like the one above (can there EVER be enough mermaid selfies?), I slipped into the pool, ready to live out my mermaid fantasy.

Now if you’re like me, Hollywood has fooled you into believing that #mermaidlife is effortless.

And it is.

For movie mermaids and dolphins.

For the rest of us, it’s a full body workout that tones your glutes, quads and abs.  Mermaids use their lower body for propulsion through the water, flipping their fins from the front, back and side to speed their way through the watery depths. It’s a low impact exercise, and not too exhausting if your cardio is up to par – but perfecting “dolphin kicks” does take a little bit of practice.

Surprisingly, there were more than a couple of neat tricks I didn’t totally suck at. I managed to swim underwater hand-in-hand with a fellow classmate, do a pretty long underwater handstand, and hoisted my legs up in the water to slap fins with the girl next to me.

King Triton woulda totes been proud of me.

The hardest skill for me to master was rotating my body while swimming under water – but I did manage to do it quasi-successfully through a hula hoop after a few practice runs.

By the end of the day, I felt energised and refreshed in a delicious, post-workout kind of way.  I had forgotten how fun and healthy swimming can be.

But of course, it’s that much more fabulous with a mermaid tail on.

The Little Mermaid


Wanna be where the people mermaids are? One hour trial classes at Aquamermaid are 60$ a pop, or 75$/month for 1 hour of class and 1 hour of free swim a week. For more info, check out their website at Though Aquamermaid graciously offered me a complimentary trial class, opinions remain entirely my own.