Have you ever watched The Little Mermaid and wondered what it was like to be so free, so swift, and beautiful under the water? My eldest daughter certainly has and she had the wonderful experience of being Ariel (at least for the hour) at Aquamermaid in downtown Toronto. She enjoyed her trial swim class and the time seemed to fly, er, swim by. The class was held at University Settlement Recreation Centre (near the Art Gallery of Ontario).
Leah, an instructor, for almost two years, said that a great part of the experience was taking her favourite swim move, the butterfly stroke, and extending it to the dolphin swim. She enjoys teaching the kids because it’s a fun experience that puts everyone on an equal playing field. Everyone (boys and men too) can put on a mermaid tail and experience the freedom of swimming in the open water. They have a merman instructor too and birthday parties are open to everyone. They’ve had boys and girls for parties and everyone’s had a good time. Certainly, the photo ops are awesome!
They started with an introduction and created a mermaid name. After choosing their new monikers, they wiggled into their mermaid tails (made of stretch fabric that goes up to the waist and beyond) and learned some basics of mermaid movements. For people with tiny feet, thick socks or swim shoes are recommended. The main requirement is to swim independently for 25 metres, but Leah made an exception for my daughter and she wore a life jacket for the experience. She had a blast! From diving underwater to gathering colourful rings tossed into the pool to using a pool noodle to propel forward to swimming through a hoop, the girls couldn’t stop smiling. Not only is the activity fun, it looks like a great cardio workout. I felt tired just watching them go.
Not only is it a novel idea, the physical benefits are enormous. Since the legs are bound together, it keeps the swimmer in good form for a dolphin kick. This move is apparently incredible for the abs so I can see why grown women are into this new hobby. I saw another little girl (who is a very advance swimmer) swim the length of the pool back and forth and it certainly was enchanting. I was mesmerized by how fluently she swam. There was also a party in session and the girls played games while a mom also joined in the fun.
While we were wrapping up, a group of young ladies came to wait on the bench. They were clearly there for a bachelorette party. What a fun idea! It reminded me of Ariel and her sisters (yes, I’m a Disney fanatic). They looked super excited for their swim and I couldn’t blame them (totally made me want to take swim lessons. Am I missing out?)! Glistening tail, fun games, and a solid cardio workout? Somebody grab me a tail, stat!
If you are interested and want to dive right in (see what I did there), please check out their website at here and book your free trial.