January 5, 2015 5:16 pm
Updated: February 6, 2015 12:52 am

Mermaid school opens in Montreal — but who’s taking the plunge?


WATCH ABOVE: There’s been a huge wave of interest in the Mermaid school opened by 24-year-old professional mermaid and founder of AquaMermaid Academy, Marielle Chartier Hénault. Global’s Ines De La Cuetara reports.

MONTREAL – Some Montrealers are flopping around with excitement at the news that a professional mermaid school has opened its doors in the city.

There’s been a huge wave of interest according to 24-year-old professional mermaid and founder of AquaMermaid Academy, Marielle Chartier Hénault.

“Right now, there are two main customers,” she said. “Little girls who just want to live the dream and older women, 18 to 25, who are looking for a workout.”

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An underwater model and avid diver, Chartier Hénault is a HEC Montréal business school graduate who hails from Verdun. She said she set up AquaMermaid after a friend sent her a Facebook links to mermaid schools in the Philippines and Germany.

“I was inspired,” she told Global News. “I’ve always liked swimming and I love mermaids, so it’s great for me.”

PHOTOS: Human ‘mermaid’ Hannah Fraser dances with wild tiger sharks

In addition to mermaid-themed parties, the school offers a variety of fitness classes, from “Intro AquaMermaid” for 7-to-12-year-olds to “Mermaid Fitness,” an hour-long workout that includes crunches, cardio and laps.

At the moment, the classes take place at the AquaDome in Lasalle, but Chartier Hénault said that she’s looking for other locations, as there has been so much demand.

What’s so special about mermaid swimming?

“It’s really a full workout,” said Chartier Hénault. “It’s a big fin, so you push a lot of water.”

“You need to do the movements without the tail, then you start slowly with the main movement: the dolphin kick,” she explained.

“The courses are based on the theory of free diving,” she said.

“As you progress, you learn dolphin kicks, underwater spins, breath control and where best to put your hands while swimming.”

She said it takes some effort at first to swim with a tail, but she’s noticed that especially for children, it’s like second nature.

It’s all about the tail

The tail is what makes the workout so special, fitness-and-fantasy-wise.

“It’s basically a monofin made out of plastic and covered in swimming suit fabric, usually Spandex,” said Chartier Hénault.

The plastic is usually hard, but becomes more flexible as the fin extends from the feet.

Finding the right fit for her business is a challenge and she’s been trying out different models and testing samples from different retailers in Florida, Germany and here in Canada.

What about mermen?

“Surprisingly, I have a few men who are interested,” said Chartier Hénault.

“Usually it’s because they want to improve their scuba diving skills.”

For those interested in exploring their fishy side, AquaMermaid offers “Intro AquaTriton,” a special class for men.

So guys, take some time and mullet over…

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