Parent/Tot – Half-hour class, 8 parent/child pair maximum
Prerequisite – None
Children ages 12-36 months are introduced to the water. The goals for this class are to have the children comfortable and happy in the water as well as learn the basic skills necessary to move on to Beginner 1 level classes when age appropriate. This is not intended as a "drown proofing" class.
Starfish Swimmers Survival Swim – 10 minute private lesson (no group option available). Session is 4 days/week for 5-7 weeks for mastery of skills.
Prerequisite – Must be between 6 months and 3 years old.
A child as young as 6 months old will learn how to hold their breath underwater, roll onto their back and float unassisted until help arrives. Toward the end of the lesson session, they will have opportunities to perform survival skills fully clothed, helping them to become a master aquatic problem solver. Besides mastering critical survival skills, a child who enrolls early has the benefit of solidifying good swim posture to facilitate learning more complex swimming skills.
Children who are one year or older are taught the basic roll-to-float as well as independent swimming. Students learn to hold their breath underwater and swim with their face in the water for up to 5 seconds. When they are tired and need to breathe, they will independently roll-to-float to rest, and then will flip over to resume swimming from the float when ready. They will continue the swim-float-swim sequence as many times as needed until they reach safety.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Children who are at least three years of age and are ready to move to Excel's group lesson levels to learn actual strokes can begin at the Beginner 2 level if they have completed this program.
Beginner 1 – Half-hour class, 4-student maximum per class
Prerequisite – Must be at least 3 years old.
This class is an introductory class for children who have little to no experience in the water. Students will be taught basic water adaptation skills, such as putting their face in the water and holding their breath. They will be working toward propelling themselves through the water and rolling onto their back for a breath unassisted. They will be introduced to kicking while on their back. Prior to moving to Beginner 2 the swimmer will be expected to INDEPENDENTLY swim a short distance with their face in the water, roll onto their back to breathe, and roll back to swim again. If they are ready, we will introduce the use of arms while swimming and kicking while on their back.
The video below shows a swimmer who has successfully mastered the skills necessary to move on to the Beginner 2 level. A big thanks to Mrs. A. Dama, who allowed us to film her daughter for this video.
Beginner 2 - Half-hour class, 4-student maximum per class
Prerequisite – Completion of Beginner 1 class AND instructor recommendation. OR, swimmer must be able to independently swim a short distance with the face in the water and roll onto their back to breathe. See the video above to see these skills properly executed.
In this class we work on proper technique for the freestyle and backstroke. Swimmers are asked to swim longer distances while incorporating the roll breathing. As the swimmer’s strength and coordination increases we introduce the side breath in the freestyle. The proper technique for backstroke arms will be introduced and refined. Time permitting, the dolphin kick will be introduced.
The video below shows a swimmer who has mastered all of the skills that we teach at the Beginner 2 level. She is ready to move on to the Advanced level. Thank you to Mrs. D. McIntosh, who allowed us to film her daughter for this video. We are very grateful.
Advanced – Half-hour class, 5-student maximum per class
Prerequisite – Completion of Beginner 2 class AND instructor recommendation. OR, swimmer must have mastered breathing to the side in freestyle. Additionally, the student should be able to complete a half lap of correct freestyle and backstroke. See the video above for an example of what is expected.
Swimmers in this class will continue to refine the freestyle and backstroke, as well as learn butterfly and breaststroke. Stroke drills will be introduced to help refine individual elements of each stroke. Breathing rhythms will be introduced and perfected. Students will be expected to swim full laps at some point during this class. Swimmers will learn the importance of strong kicking through work with a kickboard.
Experts – 45-minute class, 7-student maximum per class
Prerequisite – Completion of Advanced class AND instructor recommendation. OR, swimmer must be able to swim full laps of proper freestyle and backstroke as well as have a strong working knowledge of butterfly and breaststroke.
This is less of a swim class and more of an abbreviated swim practice. However, students will continue to be introduced to new skills as well as continuing work on the four competitive strokes. New skills will include flip turns (both freestyle and backstroke), streamline dolphin kick off the wall for freestyle, butterfly, and backstroke, and breaststroke pull-out. Swimmers in this class can expect to swim anywhere from 300-500 yards (12-20 laps) per class.
Adult – Half-hour (weekday mornings) and full-hour (Saturday) classes available, 4-student maximum
Prerequisite – None
Adults at any level may swim in this class. The instructor will tailor the class for the skill level of the students. Swimmers can choose to focus on one stroke or skill, or receive instruction in all four competitive strokes.