From Daryl Hannah in “Splash” to Ariel in “The Little Mermaid,” Hollywood makes mermaid life look easy. But it’s not. Deco’s chief merman, Chris Van Vliet, is here with his new segment: Keeping Up with Chris.

I became a mermaid. Those are words I certainly never thought I’d ever be saying, yet here we are. I gotta admit — this was a ton of fun, but if you think this looks easy, it’s not.

In “The Little Mermaid,” Ariel wanted nothing more than to shed her tail and grow some legs. For me, it’s the exact opposite.

Chris Van Vliet: “What have I gotten myself into?”

Charlotte Towne: Well, today you are going to learn the art and fitness of mermaid swimming.”

That’s right. I’ve signed up for a mermaid class with AquaMermaid School at the Hotel Morrison in Dania Beach — and I will become a full-fledged mermaid.

Ben Stiller (as Derek Zoolander): “Merman!”

Zoolander is right, a merman! And he’d know better than anyone.

Chris Van Vliet: “Am I going to be the first merman that you’ve had?”

Charlotte Towne: “Yes, you are.”

Chris Van Vliet: “So I’m setting the bar real low here.”

Not only does it look majestic and magical (at least when the ladies do it), but mermaid swimming is one heck of a workout.

Charlotte Towne: “You’re getting a full-body workout. You’re getting your cardio in, your abs, your glutes, your thighs, your arms, everything.”

It’s time to dive in … so much pun intended.

*takes off shirt*

Chris Van Vliet: “I hope you didn’t put that in slow-mo!”

I ditched my shirt, now I have to ditch my legs for this tail made of spandex with a built in mono-fin.

Chris Van Vliet: “This is where it gets fun.”

Chris Van Vliet: “Am I a merman?”

Charlotte Towne: “It fits you perfectly!”

Chris Van Vliet: “I’m a merman!”

I know, I know — I look more like a manatee than a mermaid. Mermaids don’t have knees, so I need to move my hips more.

Charlotte Towne: “Even bigger. Front back, front back.”

Chris Van Vliet: “It’s hard. You guys make it look so easy.”

With some great teaching, I’m starting to get the hang of this merman thing.

I’d say these mermaids and this merman made quite the splash.

The only thing I was missing was the seashell bikini. If you want to do this, AquaMermaid has mermaid classes at Hotel Morrison in Dania Beach every Saturday from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m.. The classes cost $60 per person.

And if you have an adventure you think I should go on, email me at

We’re starting off this new Keeping Up with Chris segment by becoming a merman — that is setting the bar awfully high.


AquaMermaid School at Hotel Morrison
28 S Federal Hwy.
Dania Beach, FL 33004

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