Want to be a mermaid?

Princess Ariel in Disney's version of Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid tale in 1989.
Princess Ariel in Disney's version of Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid tale in 1989. 

Ever fancied being a mermaid? Gliding underwater with the help of a giant tale? You can now bring The Little Mermaid experience to life at the Philippine Mermaid Academy, which opened last May. The academy says 'mermaiding' is "both an artistic expression and a fun whimsical way to keep fit".

For 1500 pesos (around $42) you get a tutored two hour pool session in a mermaid tail. This includes a 15 minute "mermaid introduction and stretching", instructions on how to wear and care for your mermaid tail, an hour of swimming and half an hour to take photos and get an individual assessment.

Coaches teach students how to do handstands and blow kisses underwater, and try to instil an appreciation for marine life as well.

Would-be mermaids who want to take it to the next level can take part in a Mermaid Snorkelling course (1500 pesos), or a Mermaid Scuba Diving course (3500 pesos) - although for the latter you'll need a scuba diving licence.

If you're keen on being a mermaid, but not so keen on water, there's a mermaid makeover option, where you just don the tail for photos without having to get wet.

Instructor Arabelle Jiminez told Britain's ITN that mermaids have a lot to teach people.

"We have this notion that the mermaids are beautiful, are playful, are fun, and adventurous, and graceful. So that is what we want to impart to the kids also."

- Fairfax NZ News