Make a splash as a professional mermaid

Published: 24 Sep 2015

When my sister was younger, her favourite Disney movie was The Little Mermaid. She loved Ariel and her underwater pals and even made us laugh by saying when she was older she wanted to be a mermaid.

Now I may have to eat my words as I have just discovered that it is possible for someone to work as a professional mermaid. Ok, so you don’t literally become half fish, half human, but there are opportunities out there to don a costume that will make that dream come true. And there is even a school in America that can help you.

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The tiny city of Weeki Wachee, dubbed The Only City of Live Mermaids, is one of the smallest cities in the US and has been home to professional female divers who perform as mermaids since 1947. It is also home to a mermaid school where children can wear a tail and learn to swim like a mermaid. There are sometimes opportunities to join the cast who teach the children and put on shows for tourists.

There is also a school closer to home in Cornwall. Freedive UK is the first place to offer these courses in Britain. You can learn how to pose, swim with your eyes open and generally remain looking elegant despite everything else.

It’s not quite as easy as just slipping on a costume. Being a professional mermaid requires a tough training regime. Unfortunately it’s not a profession that really allows you to do it full-time, but there are some ways that you can use your mermaid skills for good.

Some are hired for birthday parties for little girls who love mermaids, while others use the idea for more political goals.

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One of the most famous mermaids is Mermaid Melissa – she’s actually legally changed her name to Mermaid – who is an activist who educates people about the ocean through underwater performances.

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