Florida's Weeki Wachee attraction seeks new mermaids

One of the most magical places on Earth* is hiring. Weeki Wachee in Spring Hill, Florida is auditioning for new full-time mermaids.

The Tampa Bay Times reports:

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park is an attraction in Hernando County located near the intersection of State Road 50 and U.S. Highway 19. The attraction that opened in 1947 features performers dressed as mermaids and an underwater theater.

Weeki Wachee Springs State Park will hold auditions Jan. 13 for what it hopes will be several new additions to its world-famous mermaid squad. Currently, the squad has 17 performing mermaids and three princes.

The Weeki Wachee mermaids perform underwater year-round in 72-degree spring water from the head of the Weeki Wachee river. The mermaid show debuted on Oct. 13, 1947, in the theater built of limestone and submerged six feet below the spring’s surface.

The park expects at least 50 women to come for the first, and most physically demanding, part of the audition...

On the first audition day, aspiring mermaids must complete a timed, 300-yard endurance swim, where they swim both with and against the water’s current. If they finish that successfully, candidates must tread water for 10 to 15 minutes...

Candidates will perform underwater ballet moves, like flips, a few feet below water in the park’s submerged mermaid tank that faces a 400-seat auditorium. The underwater audition shows how "comfortable" or "panicky" a candidate looks behind the glass...

Then, after the new mermaids are chosen, they must go under a year's worth of training. Read the rest