Dream Big Swim Academy is a unique swim program that uses innovative and fun techniques to teach children and adults to swim. Our goal is to teach the skills necessary for survival and confidence in the water using methods designed for each individual student. This is not a typical “swim lesson.” Dream Big Swim Academy is a developmental program that encompasses emotional and physical growth along with all aspects of swimming and water safety. Our teaching approach promotes growth out of the pool as well. Lessons run all year for the maximum benefit.
We have two types of classes: Private lessons (18 months and older) or Little Dreamers Infant classes. Dream Big Swim Academy does not provide group lessons, except for the Little Dreamers Infant classes. Students cannot share a lesson time. Children learn faster and feel more comfortable one-on-one with an instructor. In addition, the instructor can focus on only one child at a time, thus providing the best teaching and most importantly, safety.
We are a minimal flotation style school. While you may see other organizations/individuals teaching with backpacks or other flotation devices, we try to limit the use of these objects as it promotes a false sense of security and also inhibits natural development. Dream Big Swim Academy focuses on breath control, balance and buoyancy and then movement to develop confident, strong and independent swimmers.
Dream Big Swim Academy the ONLY nationally accredited swim school in the tri-state area. Don’t be fooled by others who “teach” swimming lessons!! All of our instructors go through a minimum of 30 hours of training and are always overseen by the head instructor. Additionally, we are the ONLY swimming instruction with Infant and Toddler course work training. (We are members of the United States Swim School Association and a USA Swimming Make a Splash provider. We are also a member of the National Prevention of Drowning Alliance and Safer3 program.)
Lessons are taught one-on-one with a specially trained instructor. Our lessons meet once a week for either 1/2 hour or 1 hour sessions, depending on the student’s skill level. Children over the age of 18 months may participate in our private lessons. We accept students at any skill level and with any disability. We specialize in adaptive techniques!! Dream Big Swim Academy also takes students who need stroke and technique refinement.
Little Dreamers classes are for children 3 -23 months and a parent must accompany them into the water. There are two classes separated by developmental stages. Babies are for infants from 3-8 months, Movers are for infants/toddlers 9-17 months, and Explorers for toddlers 18-23 months. These classes focus on survival swimming and use natural reflexes for balance and buoyancy in the water. (Classes are taught at Millsop Community Center.)
We believe in positive reinforcement and encouraging students to succeed. With this goal in mind, Dream Big Swim Academy has developed a reward program. Each student receives incentives after each lesson and a personalized “treasure map” for a monthly rewards. “Secret” ribbons are given for major accomplishments, but we won’t tell you what skills so it’s always a surprise!. In addition, students also receive a copy of the level skill card where they have been placed. Each card contains a “checklist” of skills that have to be met in order to move up into the next level. Not only does this help parent and student track progress, but it encourages students to work harder. When students graduate to a new level, they receive a certificate of achievement!
We also have quarterly progress reports to keep you updated on your student’s progress.
With over 18 years of teaching experience, Dream Big Swim Academy uses the most efficient and beneficial skill training. We believe in a minimal flotation teaching style to develop confidence and strength from the beginning. Most of our children swim with very little assistance by the age of 4. Many of our 6-7 year olds are already working on competitive strokes. Older ages learn competitive swimming, water rescue skills, and some life-guarding skills.
All of our classes take place in a safe and stimulating atmosphere where students thrive. Dream Big Swim Academy curriculum has been time tested and proven more effective than the typical group lessons.
Lessons are by appointment and scheduled monthly. Because of the individual scheduling of lessons, Dream Big Swim Academy’s availability is very limited. Although we do have a continuous enrollment system, lessons are only available when previously filled times become open. Lesson time openings cannot be predicted as students come and go throughout the year. Due to our small size, we cannot “hold” times and it is not possible to sign up for a specific time in advance.
Our goal here at Dream Big Swim Academy is to teach your child to swim with the safest, most efficient, and fun instruction possible. Safety is the number one priority and is our emphasis during lessons. We teach our students to be “water safe,” not just swim.
Go to Registration to get started and see our openings!!
See our Quick Guide for commonly asked questions.
Dream Big Swim Academy rents the pool at Big Red High School in Steubenville, OH and Millsop Community Center in Weirton, WV. We are not affiliated with the facility and run independently. We rent the pool and limit our use to the pool area only. All questions about the facility, pool hours or availability, or other programs should be directed to pool staff.