Mertail Fitness, LLC

Santa Fe, NM

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About this pro

How does your service stand out?

I am a Red Cross-certified water safety instructor and US Masters Adult-Learn-to-Swim Instructor who loves to give swim lessons to all ages and all skill levels.I am also available to be a pool party mermaid! Check out the website to see me in my mermaid tail! Leave your phone number on the contact page and be eligible for the sweepstakes. Many of my clients are older adults without formal training or with a frightful childhood memory about water. I work at YOUR level. Read what I learn from my students on my Lesson Diary blog on my website Musings tab. Adult lessons are $30 per half hour or $55 for a full hour at any location near Santa Fe, NM. Add an additional adult for $20. Children lessons are $25 per half hour, $50 per hour. Add $5 per additional child.

What do you enjoy about the work you do?

It's never to late to learn how to swim well. Swimming is the only sport you can do longer and harder as you age. I especially enjoy teaching adults who never learned to swim. We conquer fear of water with the joy of swimming. Weekend swim lesson retreats are available in Santa Fe, NM and Tucson, AZ. I am also interested in meet-ups with swimmers who are willing to try out new swim strokes that emphasize control over speed. Meet-ups are free.
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Santa Fe, NM 87501

Years in business


Number of employees


Times hired on Thumbtack



22 Reviews
  • Angie S. May 16, 2017
    1. Instructor is highly qualified. 2. Excellent teaching skills. 3. Easily understandable. 4. Inspires students to feel confident, 5. Safe and patient.
  • Emily W. Jun 13, 2016
    Great lesson for my daughter! She was nervous of putting her face underwater, with Ellen's encouragement and games she forgot her fears and went under multiple times. She was so happy and excited and can't wait to get back in the water. A huge success in only 1 lesson!
  • Bonnie S. Jan 23, 2016
    Mermaid Ekena has left such deep impression on my water-suspicious child that she informed me yesterday that she'd like very much to be a swim instructor when she's older. Ellen is a fabulous, confidence-inspiring teacher and she makes every lesson fun. We couldn't have asked for a better instructor to come into our lives when she did.
  • Laura F. Sep 23, 2015
    Private Swim Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Deborah S. Aug 2, 2015
    Swimming Lessons
    Verified Review
    My grandchildren visit me in Santa Fe in the summer. For the past two years, I have arranged for a couple of swim lessons with Mermaid Ellen while they are here. As residents of New York City, these children, ages 7 1/2 and 8 years old, have only occasional access to pools and until their swim lessons were afraid even to put their heads under water. They are visiting again this August 2015 and the first thing they asked for were swim lessons with Ellen. They both love the lessons and have become increasingly more comfortable and confident in the water.
  • Kevin A. Aug 1, 2015
    Private Swim Lessons
    Verified Review
    Ellen is great!
  • Holly P. Jul 19, 2015
    Swimming Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Susan K. Jul 4, 2015
    Swimming Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Carol E. Apr 30, 2015
    Swimming Lessons
    Verified Review
    Considering that my last swimming class was about 60 years ago, I wanted to learn to swim again before a trip to Puerto Rico. I am so glad I found Ellen. She is a fabulous teacher, patient & enthusiastic. She encouraged me to take water aerobics for core strength, gave me special snorkeling lessons, & taught me feel relaxed & confident in the water. I got to swim at some of the most beautiful beaches on the planet, in water the color of the sky. Thanks, Ellen!
  • Candy B. Mar 26, 2015
    Ellen is a fantastic teacher! At 47 I'm just learning how to swim and it was important that I had an an instructor that understood and honored the challenges in learning to swim as a mature adult. Namely...FEAR! Ellen is patient and explains things very well. She pushes the learning curve, but only at the speed in which you feel comfortable. I was very happy that with only 4 lessons I was swimming! In the deep end! I would highly recommend Ellen.
  • Michael S. Mar 20, 2015
    Ellen is one of the most inspiring and encouraging individuals I have met in a long time. Her ability to translate that type to energy to her swim clients is remarkable. She motivates without pressure and her technique to coaching translates well to beginning swimmers.
  • Mary M. Jan 27, 2015
    Ellen is exactly the kind of swimming coach I needed. She is patient, observant and very knowledgeable. Under her tuteledge, I have progressed from an intense fear and inability to swim to now doing laps, in just a sessions. Her use of an underwater camera for stills and video is so useful. I trust her and look forward to learning much more! I am actually inspired to practice on my own time, something I have never felt with previous instructors. She has been very dependable with our appointments, as well.
  • Jas P. Jun 27, 2014
    Ellen is a great instructor who puts in extra time and effort outside the lesson to ensure you get the most out your time in the pool. I'm on my way to the south pacific to spend a lot of time in the ocean and I feel so much better having had swimming lessons with Ellen. The swimming style she teaches is very good (total immersion) and the water treading I think will be a very useful skill in sea.
  • Jose M. Feb 12, 2014
    Swimming Lessons
    Verified Review
    It has been a wonderful experience. I am swimming, and love it!
  • Keri A. Jul 12, 2013
    Swimming Lessons
    Verified Review
  • Kathy D. May 21, 2013
    Swimming Lessons
    Verified Review
    Met Ellen for a first lesson. She was helpful, encouraging and made it fun. I look forward to the next lesson!
  • Abraham + Julia G. May 13, 2013
    My wife and I were very pleased with Ellen. She was very specific about excercises and how to improve our swimming capabilities.
  • Vicki W. Feb 18, 2013
    Swimming Lessons
    Verified Review
    I enjoyed my time with Ellen, she was creative and very encouraging. I had taken swim lessons previously but wanted a coach to help refine my technique and help me feel confident as a lap swimmer. After2 hours of coaching she said I was ready to graduate! I am glad I found Ellen, she was just what I needed!
    Ellen K. Feb 19, 2013

    Vicki is my age (55) and she knew the components of swim technique. She was missing the "flow". After just 2 lessons she is able to swim comfortably, breathing on either side as well as alternating sides She even got the basics of the mermaid-body movement. She's perfectly poised for hours of pleasure in the water. Keep on swimming!

  • Carol S. Oct 9, 2012
    Ellen's understanding of stroke dynamics helped me change the way I move in the water. Her high energy--low stress style is also great with kids.
  • Dave M. Sep 30, 2012
    Swimming Lessons
    Verified Review
    Ellen is an excellent coach and wonderful person. She made me feel at ease and more confident in the water (no easy task) and I'm looking forward to our next session. I highly recommend her services.
    Ellen K. Sep 30, 2012

    Dave is a super fit 49-year old adult who could strongly do about any sport except swimming. And now he swims with ease nearly every day! I so enjoy working with adults.

  • Camille C. Jun 13, 2012
    Swimming Lessons
    Verified Review
    We really liked Ellen. She was on time, patient and easy to get along with. My daughter worked with her for about a half hour and walked away with new skills she started practicing right away after her lesson. I also like that Ellen has been able to work with us on weekends so far. I will definitely continue to have my daughter take lessons and will consider lessons for my 2 year old son if Ellen is willing. I'm so glad I found her, thank you thumbtack!
  • Erica E. Jul 15, 2011
    Ellen is a superb coach. Swimming laps used to be a chore for me, something to do simply for exercise. After getting coaching from Ellen, swimming has turned into a joy, something that actually feels good. Over the next few days, two people on different occasions commented that my swimming looked "graceful" and "beautiful."


What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
If you want to enjoy your swimming more, call Ellen. She's about fun, not competition. You're never too old to learn to swim better.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
Why not swim as effortlessly as possible? Swimming is the only sport you can do longer and harder as your grow older. It can be done effortlessly while strongly engaging your core. Most pool swimmers, relying on their childhood swim lessons, splash or thrash along, doing damage to their shoulders. It's common for a golfer of many years to seek out a golf pro every year. Seems to me, swimmers would also benefit from a lesson to increase efficiency and eliminate stress in their swim stroke.