Swim Classes: Enjoy the Water in 2015

Articles Parks 1-14-15

Hugh Smith Recreation Center’s Learn to Swim Program and offers all ages the opportunity to enjoy swim lessons that are offered on weekends and weeknights. Weekend lessons are available on Saturdays and Sundays over a period of 10 weeks. Weekday lessons are normally Mondays and Wednesdays or Tuesdays and Thursdays over a period of 5 weeks.

The Learn to Swim Programs offers lessons for all ages, including parent/child, preschool and adults classes. All instructors are Red Cross certified and also offer private lessons for all ages.

The City of Arlington’s Learn to Swim Program follows the American Red Cross Swim and Water safety protocols. After enrolling your child in the appropriate class, instructors will assess each child on their first day to help ensure that they are in the correct level for him/her.


Ages 6 Mos-5 Yrs.
One parent or trusted adult along with the instructor teaches your child fun and fitness while learning water adjustment, games, songs, swimming skills and safety in and out of the pool. This class is not meant to teach your child how to swim or survive in the water independently. Child must wear a swim diaper and bathing suit.

This class encourages children age three to become comfortable in the water without a parent. Children enhance learning with interactive games and songs. Participants learn to blow bubbles in the water, how to float with support and basic leg movement.

This class is designed for the 3-year old preschool swimmer who has had prior experience in the water, and can fully submerge and float & glide independently. This class will continue to teach your child to propel through the water with coordinated kicking and arm actions, take a breath and continue swimming. Prerequisite: Successful completion of Tadpole and can independently swim in a forward motion.

Clownfish: (PS1)
This class is designed for our more timid preschool swimmers (4 & 5 years of age) who have never participated in swim lessons and do not possess a high comfort level in the water. This class will focus on helping your child establish independence in the water while beginning to build a basic foundation for swimming skills. Class size is limited to four students to allow individualized instruction.

Dolphin: (PS2)
This class is designed for the 4-5 year old preschool swimmer who has had prior experience in the water, and can fully submerge independently. This class will focus on teaching your child independent front and back floats and glides, propelling through the water with coordinated kicking and arm actions, holding breath for 5-10 seconds, retrieving objects off the bottom of the pool, rhythmic breathing and unassisted water entries and exits.

Whale: (PS3)
This class is designed for the more advanced 4 & 5 year old preschool swimmer who has had prior experience in the water. This class will build on the previous level and will improve participant’s coordination of simultaneous arm and leg actions and alternating arm and leg actions. It will also help your child begin to gain basic swimming propulsive skills to be comfortable in and around water.

Level 1: Introduction to Water Skills:
Ages 6-12
Students will be taught beginning skills such as fully submerging their face in the water and retrieving objects, front and back floats, moving comfortably through the water and entering and exiting the water independently. This is an excellent class for those who have had little exposure to the water.

Level 2: Fundamental Aquatic Skills:
The objective of Level 2 is to give participants success with fundamental skills. Participants learn to float without support and to recover to a vertical position. This level marks the beginning of true locomotion skills. Participants continue to explore simultaneous and alternating arm and leg actions on the front and back to lay the foundation for future strokes.

Level 3: Stroke Development:
The objectives of Level 3 are for participants to learn the survival float, the elementary backstroke and to coordinate the front crawl. They are introduced to the scissors kick and the dolphin kick and build on the fundamentals of treading water. Participants also learn rules for headfirst entries and begin to learn to enter the water headfirst from the side of the pool.

Level 4: Stroke Improvement:
The objectives of Level 4 are to develop confidence in the strokes learned thus far and to improve other aquatic skills. Participants improve their skills and increase their endurance by swimming familiar strokes (front crawl, elementary backstroke) for greater distances. Students also continue to build upon the scissors kick and dolphin kick by adding the arms for sidestroke and butterfly. The back crawl and the breaststroke are introduced in Level 4, as well as the basics of turning at a wall.

Level 5: Stroke Refinement:
The objectives of Level 5 are to coordinate and refine strokes. Participants refine their performance of all the strokes (front crawl, back crawl, butterfly, breaststroke, elementary backstroke and sidestroke) and increase their distances. Flip turns on the front and back are also introduced.

Level 6: Fitness Swimmer:
The objectives of Level 6 are to refine strokes so students swim them with more ease, efficiency, power and smoothness over greater distances.

Beginning Swimming for Teens:
Ages 13-17
This class is designed for teens ages 13 through 17, who have little or no knowledge of swimming or want to improve their swimming strokes.

Beginning Swimming for Adults:
Ages 18+
Beginner level class introduces crawl stroke, gliding, kicks, deep water swimming and survival floating.

Intermediate Swimming for Adults:
Ages 18+
Intermediate level class builds on the fundamental basic aquatics skills and focuses more on technique. Adult participants are comfortable in the water and can float, glide and move forward independently.