Adult Swimming Classes: Learn to Swim

Adult swimming lessons Chicago

Want to learn to swim? Have a fear of the water? You’re not alone. Since 2001, we’ve amassed thousands of success stories with our adult swim students.

Chicago Blue Dolphins has been the premiere school for adult swimming classes and lessons since 2001, and we are known for our Adult Learn to Swim classes.
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This is the right program for you if:

  • You have a fear of the water.
  • You don’t know any of the swimming strokes.
  • You can swim for short distances and fatigue quickly.

In these classes, we will teach you strokes and skills so you can enjoy water vacations, swimming with your kids and swimming for fitness. Our coaches set a strong foundation for those who want to learn to freestyle (or front crawl) to do a triathlon.

What is the Class Sequence?

Learn-to-Swim Core Classes

Our core Learn-to-Swim sequence teaches you basic skills and strokes to help you feel confident that you can swim.  Rather than jumping to more complicated strokes like freestyle or breaststroke, you’ll learn elementary strokes on the front and back along with a simple roll to breathe to get you quickly able to swim up and down the pool.  The sequence finishes with deep water classes that will ensure that you can swim on your front or back for distance regardless of the water depth.

Water Adjustment and Basic Skills (Level 1)

This entry level class is for swimmers with no experience in the water and those who have taken lessons but still don’t feel confident.  You’ll learn to float, glide, kick, and swim for short distances on your front and back. Our #1 goal is to eliminate anxiety and tension, so you can concentrate on learning and enjoyment.

The next step in the sequence is the Level 2 class where we will add breathing to our strokes and extend the distance that you can confidently swim.

Simple Strokes and Advanced Skills (Level 2)

We will incorporate breathing into the elementary strokes from Level 1 and get you comfortable swimming longer distances on the front and back.  We’ll also teach you more advanced floating to make you even more confident in the water to prepare for the deep water classes. By the end of this class, you should feel confident that you can build your fitness to swim lengths in a shallow water health club pool.

Our recommend path is to move on to complete the Adult Deep Water 1 & 2 classes.  A key aspect of learning to swim is feeling confident that you can move around safely regardless of the depth of the pool.  These classes take place at pools at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  If you can’t make one of these classes, you can do the Stroke Development 1 (Level 3) class at the Swim Studio until your schedule opens up.  Many of our adult learners take the Deep Water Classes and the Stroke Development classes at the same time.

Adult Deep Water 1

Our goal in the two adult deep water classes is to take all the skills and strokes that you learned in Level 1 and Level 2 and do in a water depth where you can’t stand up.  Adult Deep Water 1 teaches the building blocks for success and safety in deep water:

  • Jumping into deep water, resurfacing, and climbing out of the pool without using steps or the ladder
  • Treading, deep water back floating, and survival (front) floating for 20 seconds with ease and comfort
  • Starting and stopping without having the feet on the ground and changing directions to get back to the wall
  • Swimming halfway down the pool through the shallow water on both front and the back

While you will have some pretty rad deep water skills at the end of this class, we strongly recommend you finish the core learn-to-swim sequence with Adult Deep Water 2.  Adult Deep Water 2 will extend the skills you learned in this class as well as combine the building blocks into water safety scenarios.

Adult Deep Water 2

Adult Deep Water 2 takes the building blocks from Deep Water 1 and combines them into a series of water safety scenarios.  By the conclusion of Adult Deep Water 2 you’ll be able to do the following:

  • Swim through the deep end on your front or back while integrating the combinations of the jump entry, stops to tread or float, flip to change strokes or directions, and climb out of the pool
  • Build the time you can tread, deep water back float, and survival (front) float for 60 seconds with ease and comfort
  • Surface dive and swim underwater to retrieve objects from the bottom of the pool

Our goal is resourcefulness — if you get into a problem in shallow or deep water, we want you to have 3-4 options jump to mind to get yourself to safety.

After Adult Deep Water 2, you can confidently say that you can swim.  What comes next is learning the competitive strokes (i.e., freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, or butterfly) to swim further, faster, and more efficiently.  The natural next step will be the Stroke Development 1 (Level 3) class where you will learn the foundations of freestyle and backstroke along with the core movements for breaststroke and butterfly.

Stroke Development Classes

Our Stroke Development classes are a critical step on the path of the learning the competitive strokes (i.e., freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly).  Unlike the elementary strokes used in the Learn-to-Swim Core classes, these strokes have more difficult body positions, movements, and timing; in other words, there are more places for things to go wrong.  Our philosophy is to build the strokes from the inside out.  By marinating in these postures and foundational movements in this class sequence, we set you up to successfully learn efficient forms of the competitive strokes and swim for fitness or (gasp!) competitive events down the road.

Stroke Development I (Level 3)

Our main goal in the Level 3 class is to take everything from Levels 1 and 2 and put it on the side.  Being able to balance in streamlined side positions is critical to swimming with alternating arms and the arms out of the water in the freestyle and backstroke strokes.  More specifically, the Level 3 class will teach you to:

  • Balance, rotational, and side streamlining core positions that are critical for good freestyle and backstroke
  • A simplified version of freestyle that will let you move down the pool faster and more efficiently while building skills for the Freestyle stroke refinement classes
  • Drills and exercises to improve your flutter kick (i.e., motion used in freestyle and backstroke)
  • The basic body position and the kick motion for breaststroke
  • The basic body position and the undulation (dolphin) motion used in butterfly

At the conclusion of this class, you will move on to the Level 4 class to complete your tour of the foundational skills for the four competitive strokes.

Stroke Development II (Level 4)

Our main goal in the Level 4 class is for you to be able to do simplified versions of the freestyle and backstroke strokes independently.  Just as in the Learn-to-Swim Core classes, we want you to be able to take these strokes to the pool to refine your skills and build your swimming fitness.  You should see a major increase in speed as you move down the pool using these foundational strokes.  More specifically, the Level 4 class will teach you to:

  • Take the simplified version of freestyle from Level 3 and build greater control and distance covered while doing it
  • Fully build the simplified version of backstroke and send you to the pool to practice it independently
  • Continue to build the strength and speed of your flutter kick (i.e., motion used in freestyle and backstroke)
  • Build control of the breaststroke motion, so you can cover greater distances while doing it
  • Add extended arms to the undulation (dolphin) motion used in butterfly to cover greater distances

At the conclusion of this class, you should feel like you move up and down the pool in multiple ways that build fitness and make your pool time more enjoyable.  If you’ve caught the swim bug and want to learn more, you will move on to our Stroke Refinement classes courses, either Freestyle 1 or Three Strokes 1.

What Can You Expect from Our Adult Learn-to-Swim Classes?

What are the Pools Like?
In our custom-designed Swim Studio, you will swim in a high-tech Endless Pool. Here’s why our Endless Pools will help you learn faster and make you a better swimmer overall.

For our deep water classes, we rent one of two pools on the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) campus:  the Sport and Fitness Center (SFC) and the Physical Education Building (PEB).  These pools are 25-yards long with an 11+ foot deep end that makes it ideal for working on deep water comfort and advanced skills.

How Many Adults are in Each Class?
We keep the size of our classes small to give each student more attention and practice. Our student-to-teacher ratio in our adult learn to swim classes at the Blue Dolphin Swim Studio is 3:1 maximum.  Our Learn-to-Swim 3 Deep Water classes have a 4:1 student-to-teacher ratio which reflects the larger size of the pool area in which these classes are conducted.
How Long Do the Classes Last?
Each adult class is 60 minutes long.

Our classes run on a set 4-5 week session.  You will focus on learning a particular set of skills during that period.  At the end of the period, we will evaluate you and either promote you to the next session or refine the current set for another session.  We will send you and evaluation at the end of the session providing specifics on your progress.

What is the Cost for Group Classes?
Our group classes run year round. Enrollment in our group classes is open-ended. There is no official end date to our classes and you may join us for as long as you’d like. How long you remain enrolled in our classes will ultimately depend on your swimming goals. We recommend joining us for at least three months to see measurable improvements.  Within a 3 month period, most of our adult newbies will be swimming on their fronts and backs, able to roll to get air or call for help, and are either getting comfortable in deep water or starting to learn freestyle and backstroke.

Tuition will run automatically each month for as long you are a student. You may discontinue at any point. The value of any remaining credits can be held on account, transferred to another account, converted to other services and products, or refunded to your credit card on file.

The monthly tuition for our adult learn-to-swim classes is shown in the table below:

Class Name
Monthly Tuition Cost
Learn-to-Swim Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 $265.00
Adult Deep Water 1 and 2 $275.00

In addition to tuition, there is a non-refundable $20 annual membership fee to cover insurance and safety costs. If you continue on with us beyond one year (and we hope you do), you’ll be charged the membership fee on each anniversary.

Please be aware, a $25 cancellation fee will be charged to your account if you discontinue your classes during the first three months of your enrollment. There are no cancellation fees if you cancel after three months of enrollment. For more details about withdrawing from a class, see “Disenrollment from Automatic Tuition Renewal” on our Policies and Procedures page.

Do You Offer Private Lessons?
Yes, we do! Private lessons are ideal for adults who want to learn at their own pace or who need more flexibility with their schedule.

While we offer both 25 and 50 minute private lessons, adults seem to work best with 50 minute lessons. With all of the different priorities in our adult lives, having a longer lesson usually allows more work to get done in each session.

We also offer private lessons in one, two, and three person options. If you would like to do semi-private lessons, you need to provide the other members in the party. Purchases of five lessons at a time will receive a 5 percent discount.

If you are unsure where you fit in to our group class progression or whether private or group classes best meet your needs, contact our office to schedule a 25-minute Skills Assessment lesson. Our instructor will run you through a series of exercises to determine your current skill level and then will give you an overview of the skills progression that best matches your skills and goals.

Lesson Type
25 Minute Single 25 Minute Five Pack 50 Minute Single 50 Minute Five Pack
Skills Assessment $55.00 N/A N/A N/A
Private $82.00 $389.50 $160.00 $760.00
Two Swimmers (Per Person) $54.00 $256.50 $108.00 $513.00
Three Swimmers (Per Person) $41.00 $194.75 $82.00 $389.50

If you opt to move ahead with one of our private lesson tuition plans, there is a non-refundable $20 annual membership fee to cover insurance and safety costs. If you continue on with us beyond one year (and we hope you do), you’ll be charged the membership fee on each anniversary.

How Does Your Billing Work?

When you register for a class, we charge your credit card that day for the first month of tuition. We will then set you up for automatic payment on the same day in subsequent months. We will keep you on auto pay until you move into a class with a different tuition or until you discontinue taking classes.

In addition to charging you for the first month of tuition, we will also charge you a non-refundable $20 annual membership fee to cover insurance and safety costs. If you continue on with us beyond one year (and we hope you do), you’ll be charged the membership fee on each anniversary.

If you withdraw from class within the initial three session period, you will be assessed a $25.00 cancellation fee.  For more details about withdrawing from a class, see “Disenrollment from Automatic Tuition Renewal” on our Policies and Procedures page.

How Do I Register?

What if I've taken lessons before?
By default, we put all of our new students in our Level 1 classes.  While you may have taken lessons before, we put much greater emphasis on the foundational skills of facial immersions, floating, gliding, and stroke fundamentals than other swim schools.  Further, our classes use a particular language and set of exercises that might be foreign to you.  We also think it’s never a bad thing to review the foundations before moving on.

If you do want to see if you can jump to a higher level of class to start, we will need you to sign up for a private skills assessment lesson.  One of our coaches will evaluate the skills you currently have and let you know if it makes sense to skip to a higher level of classes.  To schedule a skills assessment lesson, you can contact our office at (773) 342-7250 or submit an online request for us to contact you.

What Is Your Class Schedule?
Here’s the full schedule for our Adult Learn to Swim classes. You can click the Filter “three line” icon to filter the results by time of day, class name, and instructor.

See “What is the Cost for Group Classes” above for more details on tuition and membership policies.

Submit Registration Request to our Office
Please fill out the contact form below to put in a registration request with our office. A member of our team will get back to you within 1 business day. If you would rather speak with someone, please feel free to call us at (773) 342-7250 during our office hours (Monday – Friday: 9 am – 7 pm | Saturday – Sunday: 9 am – 5 pm).

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