‘I’m a professional mermaid – I don’t care if people think it’s childish’June 7, 2023
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A woman who originally didn’t know how to swim is now one of the industry's most sought-after professional mermaids.
Elle Jimenez – also known as Mermaid Elle – has been a mermaid performer for seven years and spends her time performing at shows across the country and teaches mermaid diving courses.
The 33-year-old from Florida, USA, loves her job and slams people who think that it being considered “childish” is a bad thing.
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She exclusively told Daily Star: “I say: thank goodness for that! It truly requires a child’s big imagination to make this job work.
“I work a lot with children so keeping my inner child alive is actually a huge part of the job. However, even adults love it! We all have that inner child that lights up when seeing a mermaid for the first time.
“It’s sad when some people call it childish and fail to see the magic in it. It doesn’t happen often though! Most people ab-shell-outely love it!”
It was never Elle’s original plan to become a mermaid – but it seems fate had a different plan.
Back in 2016, when there weren’t a lot of mermaid performers, she opened an event entertainment business in Miami.
She grew up a classically trained dancer and it was her dream to make a living out of her passion for dancing and putting on spectacular shows for upscale events.
“I was asked for a mermaid for an event and I originally said no, because I didn’t have any mermaid performers,” she said.
“I didn’t really understand what that meant back then and also, it was certainly not going to be me since I didn’t know how to swim!
“This particular client was very persistent on this vision of having a mermaid at the event.
“I had heard of mermaid entertainers that sit by the pool and look pretty but I was always apprehensive about that because I loved putting on shows that had a wow factor and showed talent and skill.”
The client made her a financial offer she couldn’t refuse but Elle decided the best speciality act as a mermaid would be to do a mermaid swimming show.
Except there was just one problem – she didn’t know how to swim.
Something told her to pursue this adventure since it was something so unique, so she took swimming lessons and even became scuba diver certified.
The situation made Elle realise she had a variety of water-related fears and had to work hard mentally to overcome them.
She says becoming a certified scuba diver opened her up to the amazing underwater world of our oceans and it changed her life.
“I started loving the idea of performing as a mermaid and developing my own character from the perspective of marine life,” she shared.
“I trained really hard in preparation for that first mermaid gig … Since I had worked so hard I decided to start promoting it and I eventually got my first mermaid swimming show, then another one and another one.”
Elle eventually made an Instagram account to keep her mermaid work as a portfolio and kept on getting bookings.
Then one day, the posts of her work started going viral and started getting attention from the media.
She added: “I didn’t expect any of that to happen. I’ll always say, the mermaid chose me, it was a calling!
“I then created my character Mermaid Elle, a mermaid princess who earned her crown for doing a great job at #SavingtheSeas, protecting the oceans and sharing with humans ways they can help too!”
Elle said people are surprised when they learn that her job doesn’t just involve being pretty for pictures but also swimming.
The 33-year-old can hold her breath for an impressive amount of time, which helps when she has to be underwater.
Her static breath hold is almost three minutes, yet her dynamic breath hold while performing is one to two minutes.
“Energy exertion can shorten a breath hold really easily, so performing in a mermaid tail is not as easy as testing the breath hold without moving,” she explained.
“When people see me swim in pools, tanks or aquariums, it really blows their mind.
“Also, my realistic mermaid costuming definitely causes an impression. I try to be as realistic as a mermaid can get!”
Follow Elle on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook.
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