AquaMermaid Experience Founder, Marielle Chartier Henault, recently provided me with a free class in return for my honest review. My granddaughter is only six year old and not a great swimmer. However, Marie agreed that I could bring Miss V for the review, as an exception, and only if I was in the water with her 100 per cent of the class. It was hard not to be excited. Who doesn’t want to be a merperson for a day?
Getting Fitted for your AquaMermaid Tail
Saturday could not arrive soon enough. Krystal, our mer-teacher, was in charge of getting us suited up. I’m really glad they suggested water shoes to help fit the fins. My adult feet are only size five and socks would not have been thick enough. Still, with all our enthusiastic flipping, Miss V and I had to stop periodically to make adjustments.
The tails were easier to put on than I thought, like rolling up stockings over a wet body. As we slipped into the shallow end, the Toronto Settlement pool staff had made the water nice and toasty. Lucky thing since it was -12 outside.
Why the AquaMermaid Experience is Best for Ages Seven+
The AquaMermaid Experience is perfect for a bridal party, a mother-daughter swim date or an Ariel birthday party that kids crush over. However, as I learned the restrictions are there for good reason. AquaMermaid is not there to give you swimming lessons, but to learn how to use the equipment and have a cool merperson experience.
Before we moved an inch in the pool, Mer-Teacher Krystal had everyone swim a length and tread water to assess our comfort and ability. Age and a minimum swimming level ensure your safety and to allow you to participate in all the mer-experiences.
As we found out it’s impossible to wave your tail in a hand stand position while you are wearing a PFD [personal flotation device]. If your child hasn’t passed Level Three or doesn’t have confidence in the water, I would recommend that you wait until they are older or a stronger swimmer.
Our AquaMermaid Experience
If your child is seven+ and not a great swimmer you might still, however, enjoy an abbreviated experience. Here’s how AquaMermaid and I handled it.
I agreed to spend the entire time in the water support to my child. Miss V was floundering in the shallow end, so I made her put on a PFD. This was more relaxing for us both.
Even with the PFD, Miss V was still floundering. I couldn’t focus on her mermaid experience without my sea legs, so off with my tail for the remainder of the class.
To put it in perspective, the other girl in our class was eight years old and a solid swimmer. It was the perfect combination to make best use of the class. Furthermore, her parent enjoyed the view and her coffee from the nice, dry bleacher bench.
Most of the partakers of the AquaMermaid Experience were 30 something women and one aspiring merman. It’s not just about the maids, the experience is about water and all the beautiful things in it. Like with anime, comics and other fandoms, the MerNetwork is a huge cult following of men and women interested in the mythology, trying to recreate it and share it.
Even though Miss V and I couldn’t participate fully in the pool, our Mer-Teacher Krystal kept checking in with us so we felt included. She adapted things as much as she could while letting us set the pace for ourselves in the shallow end.
I’ve got to report honestly that little Miss V never noticed she was not part of the main group. She was thrilled to be with me and part of something in her own imagination, sort of like this.
Since Miss V wasn’t physically working hard, she got cold fast and she didn’t last the entire hour. In this case, I’d have a couple of extra towels to warm your child up. While Miss V warmed up, I donned my tail for the hand-stand fin wave and to swim a length or two solo.
Without makeup and straggly hair I didn’t look very elegant, but I FELT like a mermaid. I also felt some muscle fatigue even from a short session.
My fellow swimmer Katherine is another writer and cross-fit crazy. At the pool for Just a Trace, Cat’s also written a great article there about decade dating. We agreed that the sessions were fun, but also a killer work out for your abs. She called the body undulation movement in the water an arch and hollow.
AquaMermaid Photo Opportunity
AquaMermaid’s brilliant idea is to take the last ten minutes of your session for photography ops. Off the Porch is social media about integrating costume play into everyday life. Miss V and I spent the week making a mermaid crown to see if we could work it into a shot.
We did work it in, barely. With her lips turning blue, it only took 15 seconds before she was shivering the crown off. Miss V loves to share pictures with family across Canada, but not this one. This one’s for me.
Here is the picture she wants to share and for her own scrapbook.
I was delighted with our first mermaid swim and can’t wait for our next session. If you have more questions about AquaMermaid, check out their website.
How I made the Mermaid Crown
You can purchase your own tail at AquaMermaid for $140.00 or a seriously gorgeous professional merperson silicone tail for $3,500.00.
For the Mermaid Crown, I used FeeFiFoFun’s $3.99 adjustable plastic crown. Using hot glue, I attached pearls, jewels, real shells and beach glass along with sequin sprays. I added several pieces of foam inside to cushion the weight on Miss V’s head. The fragile crown can’t be worn underwater, but for a moment Miss V truly looked like a daughter of Poseidon.
FeeFiFoFun is my small costume concierge service in Mississauga, where I offer ready-ready and DIY for costumes and accessories. Please text me at 416-705-9132 if you have any costumey type questions.