Swimming Lessons

At the Y, we teach more than just basic swim skills; we teach water safety for life.

Knowing how to swim can save your life - or even someone else's. Taught by certified Y instructors, our nationally-accredited swim program builds confidence and competency in the water, at a pace of progression that meets individual needs. 

Swim lessons are included in your membership. From beginner to advanced classes, gain confidence in the water in a fun and engaging environment. Lessons are available for all levels of ability and age groups. To learn more about swimming lessons, view our program guide.


Infant & Preschool Swim Lessons 

These programs help teach parents how to be safe and have fun in the pool with their child. The program includes a variety of activities designed to develop basic swimming skills so that children can feel confident and prepared for independent swim lessons.

The YMCA L’il Dippers program introduces your toddler or preschooler to the basics of swimming. Each level in the L’il Dippers program has been designed with your child’s natural growth and development in mind.

There are six levels in the YMCA L’il Dippers program for 3-5 year olds: Bobbers, Floaters, Gliders, Divers, Surfers, and Dippers. Y Swim Instructors ensure that we find the right level for your child and help them progress through the levels. 

Core skills at a glance:

  • Bobber: Blow bubbles and work toward putting their faces in the pool; front and back floats, with assistance.
  • Floater: Get into and out of the pool on their own; float on their front and back; swim 5 metres unassisted.
  • Glider: Float and swim 5 metres in shallow water; start becoming comfortable in deeper water (with instructor assistance).
  • Diver: Float and swim in deep water; swim 10 metres, using their legs and arms, on their back and front.
  • Surfer: Stay above water for 30 seconds; swim 15 metres with their faces in the water, using a floatation device.
  • Dipper: Stay above water for 45 seconds; swim on their front and back for 25 metres; standing dives; introduction to front crawl and backstroke.


Children & Youth Swim Lessons

Children will learn foundational swimming skills that will be applied throughout their future aquatics activities. They will improve their body awareness and motor skills as they submerge, kick, roll and jump in the water.

There are four Learn to Swim levels:

  • Otter: Introduction to pool safety, submersion and glides.
  • Seal: Focus on kicking and rolling.
  • Dolphin: Participants learn and focus on coordination for front and back crawl.
  • Swimmer: Skills include a focus on front and back crawl.

Continuing swimmers will learn elementary backstroke, breaststroke, and sidestroke while increasing their swimming distance to 350 metres. Swimmers will also have opportunities to explore competitive swimming, synchronized swimming, water polo and AquaFit.

Core skills include:

  • Star 1: Skills include a focus on back glide with whip kick.
  • Star 2: Skills include a focus on front glide and whip kick.
  • Star 3: Skills include focus on elementary backstroke.
  • Star 4: Participants learn and focus on breaststroke and sidestroke.

Star Leadership Programs:

  • Star 5: Skills include boating safety and self-rescue, introduction to butterfly, and a 500 metre continuous swim.
  • Star 6: Focuses on first aid and victim rescue skills, 600 metre continuous swim, introduction to waltz crawl, inverted breaststroke and double-over-arm breaststroke.
  • Star 7: Review and improve stroke techniques, improve endurance to 700 metres, and prepare the swimmer for leadership for lifeguard/Y swim instructor role.

This program helps youth build foundational swimming skills that will be applied through future activities in and around the water. 

There are three youth swim program levels:

  • Learn to Swim: Learn to float, become comfortable entering and exiting the water, and learn the skills needed for stroke development.
  • Swimming Strokes and Skills: Improve swimming strokes and build on skills learned in Learn to Swim. These classes include instruction on front and back crawl, breaststroke introduction, and treading water.
  • Stroke Correction and Improvement: This level builds on basic skills. Participants build endurance while developing and fine-tuning their swimming strokes. 


Adult Swim Lessons 

This program helps adults build foundational swimming skills that will be applied through future activities in and around the water. 

There are three adult swim program levels:

  • Learn to Swim: Learn to float, become comfortable entering and exiting the water, and learn the skills needed for stroke development.
  • Swimming Strokes and Skills: Improve swimming strokes and build on skills learned in Learn to Swim. These classes include instruction on front and back crawl, breaststroke introduction, and treading water.
  • Stroke Correction and Improvement: This level builds on basic skills. Participants build endurance while developing and fine-tuning their swimming strokes. 

Participants work one-on-one with a Y Swim Instructor to assess and improve skills. These lessons are designed to meet individual needs and abilities, and can cover anything from stroke improvement to training tips. 

For more information and to register, please contact your local Y.