You can tell how much Bramley Mermaids means to its members just by listening to their infectious enthusiasm when they talk about the club.
“It’s a communal exercise that isn’t competitive, it’s collaborative, creative and fun, with some perfomance thrown in. It’s perfect!” says Emma Sykes, one of the longest serving members of the Mermaids from when they formed just over four years ago.
For those not in the know, the club brings women together for a creative swimming and water dance class once a week at Bramley Baths.
The synchro dance club meets to learn new routines inspired by synchronised swimming techniques and vintage hollywood film – in particular the famous water sequences choreographed by Busby Berkeley and Esther Williams.
Emma, 37, travels to the Baths every Monday evening from Burley and can’t get enough of it. She said:
“The Mermaids are a lot of fun, we’re a friendly group and we do enjoy it. It’s very welcoming set up, you don’t need any experience. We come along because we have a laugh and we’re in these beautiful surroundings where we can put together these fun routines.
“I love that there’s never any pressure to try something you aren’t comfortable with, we work routines around people’s abilities and even performing in front of an audience is optional.
“There’s a great community feel to it. The lifeguards are really friendly and are happy to film our routines so we can watch them back to see how we’ve done, although it doesn’t always come out as planned!”
Emma says although people move away from Leeds, one Mermaid bobs back from Kent and gets into the pool whenever she can.
“Once you’re a Mermaid, you’re always a Mermaid!”
The Monday evening classes start at 8.15pm and are run by Yorkshire Life Aquatic’s Lucy (synchronised swimmer) and Zoe (choreographer).
Check out more on the Mermaids here.