Our Swim Class Levels, Part II: Stroke Development

We make it our mission to train champions at the Tom Dolan Swim School. But we’re not focused on winning races or medals. We want all of our students to build their confidence and skills, so they can be champions as they Swim Thru Life.

Tom Dolan is an Olympic gold medalist who learned to swim right here in Northern Virginia. He founded this school to be a warm and welcoming place for swimmers of all ages to learn and grow.

In this four-part series, we are taking a closer look at the different levels of swim classes we offer at our school. (If you missed it, start by checking out Part I: Water Comfort!)

Level II: Stroke Development

Our Stroke Development classes are for children age 2 1/2 and older, who are already comfortable in the water, and have mastered some basic skills. Classes are kept small, between four and five children.

In early Stroke Development classes, students will practice:

  • Proper head and body position
  • A strong, consistent kick

More advanced levels will also teach:

  • Freestyle and backstroke technique
  • Breaststroke and butterfly technique

Minnow I & II

To register for Minnow I (2 1/2 years old to kindergarten) and Minnow II (first grade and older), children must be able to front float with a single board, back float with a noodle, front glide, and do a full submersion.

In Minnow classes, students deepen their knowledge of basic water safety and breath control skills. They learn the basic front stroke: moving their arms and legs simultaneously, while keeping their proper body position in the water. They also begin to swim independently on their backs.

Angelfish I & II

In Angelfish I and Angelfish II classes, students learn proper freestyle swimming technique, and practice backstroke kick unassisted. They build their safety and breath control skills, including side breathing.

Seal I & II

During Seal I and Seal II classes, children polish their foundational skills and begin more advanced styles. Students master proper backstroke and freestyle swimming, while also learning how to kick and pull for both breaststroke and butterfly.  

Do our Stroke Development classes sound like a good fit for your child? Learn more about class registration, and stay tuned for Part III of our class levels series!