Mermaids used to be the stuff of legend, but now, tourists can visit the Sirena Mediterranean Academy to learn how to mermaid, or merman, like a professional!
While holidays in Barcelona may be in jeopardy due to a spike in COVID-19 cases, when we all can head to the Med again, if beaches are too packed for your liking, then you can now make dreams come true and become a mermaid for the day.
Susana Seuma has turned ‘mermaiding’ into a day job after opening up her special school near Barcelona, and each day she wears a brightly coloured spandex tail with a monofin and glides through the water to show wannabe-mermaids how it’s done.
Apprentice mermaids at the Sirenas Mediterranean Academy swim for two hours in a pool before they graduate and dive into the waters of the Mediterranean sea on Spain’s east coast.
The school, since opening in 2015, has attracted visitors from the UK, the USA, and all across Europe.
Transforming into a mermaid and learning to swim with a fish-like tail has become a dream for many people worldwide, and lets children as young as five don their mermaid tails in an indoor pool, while adults get the chance to take their new skills to the open waters.
The pandemic meant that the academy had to close during the lockdown, and also recently reopened, with measures to keep everyone safe and reduced class numbers. The academy had five different pools but is currently only using its largest pool.
Ms Seuma suffered a shattered leg from a car accident in 2011 and had to leave her job as a sales floor manager, but it proved to be the inspiration to realise a childhood dream and be a mermaid and to set up the special school.
“Every day for me is a dream. What I like this most is that when I get into the water I feel like a marine mammal and I feel like I am one with the sea,” she said.
“For some people, it is just a bit of fun, but for others, they have always dreamed of doing this.”
The academy is 60 miles south of Barcelona, and students generally tend to come for a party or to celebrate a birthday. The majority are women, but there is the occasional triton - or male mermaid.
Ms Seuma told The Sun that British men often make the best tritons: "English men come with their families, often with their wives and kids. They don't have shame or embarrassment about it compared to Latin/American men.”
Students are also taught the history of mermaids, and how to swim with the tail, and there are also mermaid conventions, costume parties, and even sub aqua ballet performances, and it has even led to the creation of ‘mermaiding’ as a verb!
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