Thanks to countless stories, cartoons, and animated movies, many people grew up wondering what it might be like to become a mermaid or merman. Luckily for them, one of the largest world scuba diving training organizations is teaching the art of mermaiding to a whole new generation of freedivers. Although the techniques are difficult to learn, mermaiding is becoming a big trend in China!
Mermaid Diving Certifications
PADI or the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, is now offering four different certification levels of mermaid diving. This freediving technique involves the use of a rather heavy artificial tail that doesn’t allow the legs to move freely. Rather, the wearer must learn to rely on abdominal muscles and swim like a dolphin. The leading progenitor of mermaiding is the first Chinese woman to obtain a PADI’s Master freediving training certification – Dada Li.
The Art of Movement Comes to Light
Inspired by the movie “Splash” in the 1980s, Dada Li pursued her freediving dreams and created a professional freediving underwater performance team – the first of its kind. She explains that, due to the weight and nature of the prosthetic tail, it takes a lot of practice to make the movements elegant like a mermaid. As the first female freediving instructor in China, Li now holds the position of PADI ambassador.
Worldwide Standardized Mermaiding
Over the last decade, standardized training and certifications for mermaid diving have spread throughout the world. Corinna Davids from Scuba Schools International explains that their mermaiding programs are in over 3,000 diving schools worldwide and more than 1,000 instructors in China alone. She founded a performance diving team in China consisting only of part-time mermaids that commonly perform during water sport events, aquariums, and other venues. Offering people the option of becoming certified mermaids has increased the issuing of diving licenses by 40% in China alone in 2018! The trend is still picking up speed with no signs of slowing down!
Seeing your best friend in pain is never easy. Trinity Jagdeo knows that well after her closest pal was diagnosed with a serious degenerative disease. Fortunately, she found a way to make both of them feel better after creating a comics featuring superheroes with disabilities. It gave Trinity something to focus on, and it inspired her friend Alexus never to give up hope.
A Friend In Need
Everything changed for Alexus and Trinity when the former was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type 2. She had to spend months in the hospital with the realization that her life would never be the same again. Trinity did what she could to help her, but there were only so many films they could watch together. Eventually, she realized that Alexus needed somebody to look up to to help her through the pain. That’s when the comics came about.
Anyone Can Be A Superhero
After Disney ignored her suggestion to create characters with disabilities or special needs, Trinity established her own non-profit organization – From We Can’t to We Can. Through that, she’s written and illustrated comic books, which prove that people can still be superheroes, even if they aren’t like everybody else. She started this project around two years ago now at 17, and already she’s made three incredible comics.
An Inspiration To Us All
The characters in Trinity’s books are based on real people, which only makes her work that much more powerful. Alexus is incredibly grateful for what her friend has done, as are the other kids in her position. It’s no wonder that Trinity gets asked to speak at schools and colleges because she’s just as inspiring as the characters in her stories. This girl could seriously change the world, with or without superpowers.
With any luck, Trinity’s comics will convince mainstream networks and content creators to start giving a greater voice to those who still don’t have one.