The alluring, fantastical world of mermaids has enamored humans for centuries. While many only experience mermaids in the realm of fantasy, others are taking a very reality-based foray into the mer-world — with some even mastering freediving skills and becoming professional mermaids! (Talk about all of our childhood dreams coming true!)
Leading this mer-pack is the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), which has created the renowned PADI Mermaid™ course. Women who have always been drawn to the ocean and are passionate about the outdoors will love the opportunity to learn to freedive safely, embrace their femininity, and support ocean advocacy in a comprehensive beginner program.
The PADI program offers four versions of the course so mermaids of all experience levels can get the most out of their deep blue adventures:
- Basic Mermaid Course: The Basic Mermaid Course is the perfect program for aspiring mermaids to learn the principles of freediving and practice water skills in a pool or confined site. During this course, mermaids have the opportunity to use a mermaid tail, or monofin, mask, and snorkel as they learn about water safety and basic diving skills in a controlled environment.
- Discover Mermaid Course: Learn to mermaid safely with The Discover Mermaid experience, which introduces aquatic activities in a confined water space that is shallow enough to stand. Practice playing underwater and getting to know your mermaid gear with this accessible course for both beginner and experienced mermaids.
- Mermaid Course: Dive a little deeper with the PADI Mermaid Course. This course develops dynamic mermaid skills that highlight the self-expressive art of mermaiding, which involves grace and movement that goes beyond typical freediving. As long as you are comfortable swimming and in good physical health, this course is perfect for you to learn mermaid skills such as dolphin kicks, C-shape and U-shape turns, and other diving techniques.
- Advanced Mermaid Course: The continuing-education PADI Advanced Mermaid course is perfect for mermaids who want to improve their diving skills and experience safe diving in open water. During this comprehensive program, you will learn what to expect in the more variable conditions of open water, including aquatic life, and how to safely navigate the unknown underwater environment. During the advanced course, mermaids will use a mermaid tail and can integrate a weight belt and other freediving gear to enhance their experience.
Destination: Education — Check Out These 7 Fun Places to Take the Course
What began in 1966 as a dream between two friends in Illinois has grown into the largest ocean exploration and diver’s association in the world. Now PADI offers their magical Mermaid programs in an astounding 186 countries and territories.
While you can find your nearest local PADI center, there are also a multitude of worldwide destinations that are definitely worth packing your fins for. Here are seven of the best locations offering the PADI mermaid program that will allow you to travel to a stunning location and return home with incredible memories and a Mermaid Certificate. Bonus: Many of these are family friendly, teaching minnows as young as six valuable mermaid skills! Check out this PADI-curated list:
- Maui, Hawaii
It’s no surprise that the tropical island of Maui would be the perfect location to build ocean confidence amongst the palm trees in the Mindful Mermaid program.
- Maamutaa Island, Maldives
There are four different PADI Mermaid courses offered in the gorgeous Maldives where you can sleep in an overwater villa by night and dive in the crystal-clear waters by day.
- Adelaide, Australia
Become an official PADI Mermaid in the land down under by checking out the PADI Dive Center Adelaide Scuba which provides boutique mermaid courses for people of all levels.
- Florida, USA
For sunshine and ocean lovers who want to check out the gorgeous Florida Springs — and who appreciate a luxe all-inclusive experience — Mermaid Freedive offers 4-day mermaid retreats that teach you everything you need to know about the sport in and out of the water.
- Koh Samui, Thailand
Explore the stunning nature in Thailand by joining the first-ever Mermaid center in the country that teaches anyone the art of mermaiding.
- Cozumel, Mexico
Cozumel is one of the best places to be for aspiring mermaids – they even dedicate a whole MerWeek in the summertime to enhancing mermaid skills and relaxing in the ocean.
- Tenerife, Spain
The PADI Dive Resort Tenerife Academy offers diverse landscapes for women to live their childhood dreams and learn the ins and outs of mermaid diving.
Mermaids Who Have Used the Course to Turn Their Passion into Purpose
Becoming a PADI mermaid opens the door to an underwater world of career options, including a mermaid show performer, PADI mermaid instructor, party entertainer, ocean ambassador or conservationist, and even a social media influencer. PADI lists several influential merfolk who are taking their careers as sea stars to a whole new level!
Here are just a couple who are making a splash in our own backyard. These Florida-based mermaids are doing a fin-tastic job of spreading the word on the magic of mermaiding, freediving, and PADI courses:
Mermaid Elle is a Florida-based PADI Mermaid who has been performing aquatic acts since 2016. She has two pieces of advice for aspiring mermaids: Open your mind to the little girl waiting inside, and relax as you hold their breath and expand your dive skills. Mermaid Elle loves to watch her students grow in their mermaid training and become empowered as they embark on a unique underwater adventure.
Back when Mermaid Elle started her journey as a mermaid performer, she was a pioneer in the field. She has been featured in many articles, interviews, and TV appearances, inspiring mermaids from all over the world to discover their inner mer-person by signing up for their local PADI mermaid program.
Brandee Anthony , a.k.a. the Vero Beach Mermaid
With a background in freediving, it made sense for Brandee Anthony to make the subtle shift to becoming a mermaid. She loves the artistic expression involved in the sport, as well as the ways it helps her improve her breath holds. As a PADI Mermaid, she is able to teach these skills to aspiring mermaids as well, and she shares the “fun, challenging, and liberating experience” in both private and retreat settings.
Why does Brandee think that now is the perfect time for you to embrace your inner mermaid?
“So often we get caught up in the expectations of society and we lose sight of the things that make us feel alive, encouraged and embraced,” says Brandee. “Not only does mermaiding make you feel all the things from childhood, it is also an incredible outlet for physical fitness, artistic expression, community, dive education, career opportunities and so much more!”
We couldn’t agree more! Perhaps you’d like to dive a little deeper in your own ocean adventures, or maybe you simply want an excuse to buy an exquisite tail. Either way, a PADI mermaid course is a great experience. Find your nearest Mermaid Center today, and free your inner mermaid!