Aquatic activity for adults and adolescents

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For all those who think life might be better under the sea, there’s a new opportunity coming to SVSU’s aquatic center in March.

JodiAnn Stevenson is directing a workout class with one very unique feature- participants will be swimming around in mermaid tails.

Stevenson is the head of a local business called Mermaid Fitness, which is a pool-based workout combining yoga, palates, barre and water aerobics to create an entirely new genre of exercise.

“My daughter and I received mermaid tails for (our birthdays),” Stevenson said. “At the time, I was working toward becoming a certified group fitness instructor, and the very first time I swam in my tail, I knew I had to create some kind of water workout (with it). So, I began developing the Mermaid Workout right away.”

The Mermaid Workout starts out of the water. Participants sit on yoga mats and do some exercises to get used to their tail. This is also important for making sure that everyone’s core muscles are engaged, a key component for the rest of the class. Once everyone is ready to dive in, the water component begins.

“We slip into the water and warmup with some laps,” Stevenson said. “We do strokes that are, obviously, specific to mermaiding. Then we move into our water-toning segment. Then, some basic synchronized swimming moves. Then we ‘remember our legs’ and move into stretching.”

For the past year and a half, Stevenson has taught individual and small group lessons for adults. Six months ago, she began to teach classes for larger groups of adults.

At the same time, Mermaid Fitness started up MerKids, a program for children.

The Mermaid Workout and Merkids both kick off their six-week session March 17.

Anyone who is comfortable swimming in the deep end of the pool is welcome to join. For those who would like to test out the class before signing up, Stevenson offers Try-It Nights, where visitors can be fitted for a tail and get a hint of what to expect. The next Try-It Night is March 3.

Anyone who is interested in the program can check out for more information.

“Just being in the water in a mermaid tail is pretty much unbeatable,” Stevenson said. “If you’re at all curious about the experience of mermaiding, you really should try the class. People are always surprised by how much they enjoy it and how good it makes them feel.”