Unleash you inner mermaid, or merman, at new Toronto school

A photo provided by Montreal's AquaMermaid show swimmers wearing the mermaid monofins.
A photo provided by Montreal's AquaMermaid show swimmers wearing the mermaid monofins. Courtesy AquaMermaid

TORONTO — Dreams, it seems, do come true: mermaid school is coming to Toronto.

The Aqua Mermaid school has established itself in Montreal, founded by Marielle Chartier Hénault, offering mermaid-themed parties and fitness classes. The classes cater to little girls looking to live their mermaid dreams and older clientele who take the classes for a fun spin on fitness.

Swimmers don a mermaid “tail,” a long flipper extending beyond the feet, covered in swimsuit fabric which continues up the legs to the waist, encompassing the legs.

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

Chartier Hénault is an underwater model and avid diver turned professional mermaid. She founded AquaMermaid Academy after learning of mermaid schools in the Philippines and Germany.

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

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She has been operating the classes in Montreal but was searching for other locations due to high demand.

Now the classes are making their way to Toronto. Jimmie Simpson Recreation Centre at 870 Queen St. East is in talks to hold the classes, but the deal is yet to be totally ironed out.

While the tails tend to spur pure glee in those unleashing their inner Ariel, officials aren’t always so keen. Some jurisdictions have banned mermaid tails, also called monofins, from public pools. One woman in Edmonton started a petition to have them allowed in city pools so she could continue training to become a professional mermaid — yes that’s a thing.

“You’d advertise yourself for kid’s parties, public appearances, underwater performing doing tricks and stuff like that,” Krista Visinski told Global News last month.

With files from Global News’ Caley Ramsay and Amanda Kelly