The YMCA of Greater Dayton offers swim lessons for all ages and capabilities all year long! We also offer Lifeguard certification courses at many of our locations. Click on a button below to view descriptions of classes in that category.

6-36 Months
3-5 Years
6-14 Years

14+ Years
5-19 Years



Copy of man and baby swimming

Parent/Child Swim Lessons: 6 - 36 months

This program promotes water enrichment and aquatic readiness for children from six to 36 months. Parents will accompany their child in the water during this lesson and will learn ways to help their child become more comfortable in and around water.

Shrimp - Ages 6-8 months: For our littlest swimmers, Shrimp is designed to introduce babies and parents to the aquatic environment. This class will help parents learn realistic developmental expectations, introduce basic aquatic safety to parent and child, and provide a fun and positive first experience in the water. Shrimp will help babies with basic motor skills, as well as introduce them to a water environment without fear. Skills include blowing bubbles, floating on front and back, kicking on front and back, social interaction through songs, and basic aquatic safety knowledge for parents. This is a fun class that will help prepare your child for future swim classes!

Kipper - Ages 9-12 months: Designed for children that are ready to learn basic swimming skills with parent accompaniment. Skills will include basic breath control, kicking, body control or (balance), and safety tips for parents.  Most importantly, to have fun in the water using toys and flotation devices and interacting with other children.

Inia – Age 13-18 months:  To encourage children’s limited but growing independence in the water under the watchful eyes of the parent.  The class encourages children’s to make purposeful movements in the water and movements in response to visual or visual cues.  Basic aquatics safety for parents and children and provide parents and children the opportunity to share common experience, to socialize, and intact with one another.

Perch - Ages 19-36 months: A new spin on Parent Child Classes! You and your child will participate together, but a little more time will be spent in a skill structure environment. All Pike skills will be introduced, while parents will help child become more comfortable in the water setting as instructors prepare them for independence. Skills presented include pool safety, appropriate class behavior, listening skills, independence from parent, as well as all the basics that are covered in Pike. Parents must participate, but the focus of class will be to get the child prepared for participation on their own.

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Preschool Swim Lessons: 3 - 5 years

This progressive program teaches water adjustment and basic swimming skills for children ages three to five years of age. Children will progress through four levels as they develop skills.

Pike: This class is designed for the preschool beginner who has had no real experience in the water. Children participate without parents and work on floating on front and back, kicking on front and back, blowing bubbles, putting face in the water, basic paddle stroke, pool safety, boating safety, and water adjustment. Patient instructors work to create a positive experience for these little swimmers. There are no prerequisites for enrollment, other than age.

Eel: For the advanced beginner who can already swim 3-5 feet on their own and can put their entire face in the water without fear. Participants will work on developing front, back, and side paddle as well as building confidence. To progress, child must swim across the pool without assistance with their face in the water, with or without a floatation device

Ray: Ray is for the intermediate preschooler who can already swim 15 feet unassisted using a paddle stroke on their front, side, and back. Participants work on rotary breathing, backstroke development with proper technique, and elementary backstroke. There is also continued work on treading water, deep water swimming, basic diving, floating, endurance, and pool safety. To Progress, Child can swim 15 yards independently without a floatation device

Starfish: For advanced preschoolers, students must be able to swim 15 feet of all strokes. Participants work on technique for all strokes and additional work is on endurance, pool safety, deep water swimming, diving, treading water, and boating safety.

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Boy swim with towel

Youth Swim Lessons: 6 - 14 years

This student-centered program allows each child to progress at his or her own pace. Students are grouped by ability levels as follows:

Polliwog - Beginner: Designed for the school-age beginner who has little or no experience. Emphasis is placed on water adjustment, kicking on front and back, basic paddle stroke, floating on front and back, basic backstroke, and pool safety. There are no prerequisites for enrollment other than age requirement. To move to the next level they will need to swim across the pool without assistance with their face in the water.

Guppy – Advanced Beginner: This level is for school-age advanced beginner that can swim 15 feet on their own but need to work on their freestyle technique. Rotary breathing will be introduced, as well as a more advanced technique for backstroke and elementary backstroke. Participants will work on floating on front and back, treading water, deep water swimming, pool safety, and introduction to diving. Before moving on students must swim the length of the pool without assistance.

Minnow - Intermediate I: Students further refine the lead-up strokes: front and back crawl, sidestroke, breaststroke, and elementary backstroke. To move to the next level they need to be comfortable swimming all strokes 25 yards.

Fish - Intermediate II: Students work to perform the crawl stroke, elementary backstroke, back crawl stroke, and sidestroke with turns. They are introduced to butterfly stroke as well as mask and fins. To advance, students must be able to swim all stokes 50 yards without stopping.

Flying Fish - Advanced Level I: Flying Fish is for children who can already swim 100 yards of freestyle and 50 yards of backstroke and breaststroke. Flying Fish is designed as a swim team preparatory class. Students will focus on technique and endurance for freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. Continued work on elementary backstroke, pool safety, treading water, deep water swimming, and diving. To move on, students must be able to swim all strokes 100 yards.

Shark - Advanced Level II: This class is for the advanced swimmer interested in preparation for swim team. Participant needs to be able to swim 150 yards freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and 50 yards butterfly. There will be a strong emphasis on technique and endurance for I.M. strokes. The class will include improvement on competitive starts, turns, plus expansion on rescue skills, and aquatic emergencies.

Pre-Team:  Swimmers should know all four strokes! Participants learn the breakdown of each stroke, starts, turns and drills.  This is a pre-competitive class.

Jr. Lifeguard:  Participants must be able to swim 50 yards.  This class teaches swimmers basic safety and lifesaving skills.  This is NOT a certification.

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Copy of girl swimmer

Adult Swim Lessons: 14 years +

Instructors will work with all levels of swimmers to increase their comfort and competency in and around water.

Beginner: This class is designed for adults who can  not swim at least 25 feet (about 1/3 of the length of the lap pool) on their own but would like to work on getting  adjusted to the water. Focus is on the basics of elementary backstroke and freestyle. Swimmers will continue to work on endurance, confidence, and treading water. Ideal for those that are afraid of the water but have never had any formal training.

Intermediate: For adults who can already swim 25 yards (1 lap) on their own. Focus on the development of strength and endurance as well as improving freestyle, elementary backstroke, and breaststroke. Instructor will also provide stroke analysis and specific training techniques.

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