This is a new water sport that is not only good for the body but also for the mind. In fact, this sport will get you fit, increase your flexibility and strengthen your abdominal muscles while having great fun. From a psychological perspective, apnea, the technique of holding your breath, is used a lot. And so, in order to stay longer under the water, being able to relax, let go, find your self-confidence and stay calm are essential elements.
"Mermaiding" is a concept that began in the Unites States, at the beginning of the 19th century. As part of aquatic ballet performances, "mermaiding" was, in the beginning part of the artistic choreographies performed by swimmers such as Annette Kellerman and Esther Williams. These choreographies were performed in special swimming costumes but not yet with mermaid tails.
It was in 1984 with the "Splash" movie that Mermaiding started to be noticed by the public, (ref. wiki). After this movie, websites such as "Thom Shouse's" began to sell mermaid tails that you could swim in. In the 2000s, Hannah Fraser, a freelance professional mermaid, travelled around the world making documentaries, interacting with whales, dolphins, sting-rays, as well as tiger sharks. At the beginning of 2010, websites about "mermaiding" helped creating a distinctive subculture, with some enthusiastic followers and others who practised "mermaiding" professionally. Nowadays, some devotees work in casinos, amusement parks and aquariums.
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This sport is growing more and more, both abroad and in Switzerland but is still not very well known in Europe. Several schools have popped up in Switzerland in the last few years and others will open soon
Today, mermaids and tritons have a role to play as they convey a universal message of unity. Under water, there are no language or cultural barriers. In terms of environmental protection, their message must be strong, gentle and kind.
At the "Mermaid Apnoe Academy", the pupils, mermaids and tritons, children and adults, work on several aspects of learning about mermaiding: breathing, stretching, figure sequencing, poses, swimming techniques, safety, life-saving and most essentially, apnea. Indeed, this is the most important element as it allows you to stay longer under water and confidently stay in control of your environment. Mermaiding can help with your own personal development. We learn to manage our emotions, know our own limits, recognize our skills and gain confidence through this sport.
Mermaiding can open up other or ally with other sport's opportunities and be practised alongside sports such as scuba diving, free-diving and synchronized swimming.