Class Descriptions

Learn to Swim Class Descriptions

Pre-school:  Ages 3 years to 6 years

Level 1:  Beginner   

Designed to give young children a positive, developmentally appropriate aquatic learning experience, this level is designed to orient preshool children to the aquatic environment and to help them gain basic aquatic skills in each category at the most rudimentary levels.  It also helps children develop comfort in, on and around water. (similar to YMCA Pike level)

Level 2:  Intermediate

Builds on the basic skills in Level 1, children begin learning the rudimentary propulsive swimming movements on both the front & back.  Appropriate personal safety & rescue skills are included.  Level 2 helps children gain greater independence in the skills and develop more comfort in and around the water.  Skills learned include:  overcome fear, build confidence in the water, learn body positioning and leg & arm actions. (similar to YMCA Eel level)

Level 3:  Advanced

This class continues to build on the skills learned in Levels 1 and 2 by providing additional guided practice of basic aquatic skills at a slightly more proficient performance level using greater distances and times.  The skills in this level are performed independently.  Skills learned include:  coordination of front & back crawl without support, rotary breathing, introduction to butterfly and treading water.  (similar to YMCA Ray/Starfish levels)


Youth:  Ages 6 to 99 years

Levels 1:  Introduction to Water Skills

This class is designed to give participants an opportunity to learn basic water skills, feel comfortable in the water and to enjoy the water safely.  Participants start developing positive attitudes, good swimming habits and safe practices in and around the water.  (similar to YMCA Polliwog level)

Level 1 Participants learn to:

  • Enter and exit the water safely.
  • Submerge mouth, nose and eyes.
  • Exhale underwater through mouth and nose.
  • Open eyes underwater, pick up submerged object.
  • Change direction while walking or paddling.
  • Roll over from front to back and back to front with support.
  • Explore floating on front and back with support.
  • Explore swimming on front and back using arm and leg actions with support.
  • Use a life jacket.

Level 2:  Fundamental Aquatic Skills

Participants learn to float without support and to recover to a vertical position.  This level marks the beginning of true locomotion skills.  Participants further develop simultaneous and alternating arm and leg actions on the front and back that lay the foundation for future strokes.  (similar to YMCA Guppy level)

Level 2 Participants learn to:

  • Enter water by stepping or jumping from the side.
  • Exit water safely using the ladder or side.
  • Submerge entire head.
  • Blow bubbles submerging head in a rhythmic patter (bobbing).
  • Open eyes underwater, pick up submerged object in shallow water.
  • Float on front and back.
  • Perform front and back glide.
  • Change direction of travel paddling on front or back.
  • Roll over from front to back and back to front.
  • Tread water using arm and leg motions (chest-deep water).
  • Swim on front, back and side using combined arm and leg actions.
  • Move in the water while wearing a life jacket.

Level 3:  Stroke Development

Participants learn the survival float, swim the front crawl and elementary backstroke.  Introduction to the scissors and dolphin kicks, building on the fundamentals of treading water, rules for headfirst entries, and seated dives are taught at this level.  (similar to YMCA Minnow level)

Level 3 Participants learn to:

  • Jump into deep water from the side.
  • Dive from kneeling or standing position.
  • Submerge and retrieve and object in chest deep water.
  • Bob with the head fully submerged.
  • Rotary breathing in horizontal position.
  • Perform front and back glide using two different kicks.
  • Float on front and back in deep water.
  • Change from horizontal to vertical position on front and back.
  • Tread water using hand and leg movements.
  • Perform front and back crawl.
  • Butterfly – kick and body motion.
  • Perform the HELP and Huddle position.

Level 4:  Stroke Improvement

The objectives are to develop participants’ confidence in the strokes learned thus far and to improve other aquatic skills.  In level 4 participants improve their skills and increase their endurance by swimming familiar strokes for greater distances.  Participants add the arms to the scissors kick for the sidestroke.  Participants also start to learn the back crawl, breaststroke and butterfly and the basics of turning at a wall.  (similar to YMCA Fish level)

Level 4 Participants learn to:

  • Perform a dive from a standing or stride position.
  • Swim underwater.
  • Perform feet-first surface dive.
  • Perform open turns on front and back.
  • Tread water using sculling arm motions and with different kicks.
  • Perform the following:
    • Front and back crawl
    • Breaststroke
    • Butterfly
    • Elementary backstroke
    • Swim on side using scissors-like kick.
    • Perform compact jump into the water from a height while wearing a life jacket.

Level 5:  Stroke Refinement

The objectives of this level are coordination and refinement of strokes.  Participants refine their performance of all the strokes and increase their distances.  Flip turns on the front and back are also introduced.  (similar to YMCA Flying Fish/Shark levels)

Level 5 Participants learn to:

  • Standing dive.
  • Shallow dive, glide two body lengths and begin any front stroke.
  • Truck surface dive.
  • Pike surface dive.
  • Front flip turn.
  • Backstroke flip turn.
  • Front & back crawl.
  • Butterfly.
  • Breaststroke.
  • Elementary backstroke.
  • Sidestroke.
  • Tread water with two different kicks.
  • Learn survival swimming.

Level 6:  Swimming and Skill Proficiency

In this level, participants refine the strokes to swim with ease, efficiency, power and smoothness over greater distances.  Level 6 is designed with “menu” options that each focus on preparing students to participate in more advanced courses.  (similar to YMCA Porpoise Club)

Level 6 Options are:

  • Personal Water Safety
  • Fundamentals of Diving (only at pools with a 1m board)
  • Lifeguard Readiness
  • Fitness Swimmer