When 30-year-old Clara How stumbled upon Singapore’s first professional mermaid, Syrena, on social media, she was intrigued. “Who wouldn’t want to be a real-life Ariel,” the part-time mermaid says. Inspired, she signed up to the Singapore Mermaid School in June 2016. After four terms, she is a certified performing mermaid, appearing with other members of her pod at children’s parties and corporate events. A group of mermaids also perform every Friday and Saturday in the pool at the storied NCO Club.
While she appears effortlessly graceful under the waves, it’s not as easy as it looks. For starters, the performers essentially have their legs bound while underwater. It also takes plenty of skill and technique to hold your breath and still look good while doing it.
How says, “Being a mermaid is really an art form. We always ask ourselves: how can we improve our tricks, extend our breath hold and master our underwater facial expressions?”
A highlight for How came in 2017, when she performed in the manatee enclosure at the River Safari Singapore. “Manatees are the most adorable creatures and are so friendly and curious,” she enthuses. “However, they also have an unfortunate habit of trying to untie the straps of your bikini tops!”
Weight of the mermaid tail when wet. Her performance tails have resin scales sewn on a neoprene base, and a silicone fluke
Amount How paid for a special performance mermaid tail
Length of time How can hold her breath underwater when performing
Time it takes How to prepare her hair and makeup before a performance
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This article was originally published in the February 2019 issue of Silkwinds magazine