West Essex YMCA

Progressive Swim Lessons

Beginning in the Fall of 2017, the YMCA swim lesson curriculum is getting an upgrade.
Read more about the changes.

Learn More

Facility Member: Family $94 / Facility Member: Youth $99 / Program Member: $158


Parent and Child Swim Lessons: (30 Min)

Facility Member: FREE

Program Member: $158


Shrimp 1 (6 months - 2 years)

An introduction to water adjustment, safety, and basic swimming skills for parent and child. A positive early experience in water through song and games. An adult must accompany the child in the water.

Mon      10:30am

Sat         9am, 9:45am


Shrimp 2 (Ages 2-3)

An introduction to water adjustment, safety, and basic swimming skills for parent and child. A positive early experience in water through song and games. An adult must accompany the child in the water.

Fri          11am

Sat         10:30am

*It is ok to place child in Shrimp 1 if preferred.


Preschool Ages 3-5(30 Min Lessons)


Pike (Ages 3-5)

Instructors lead children in their first experience in the pool without parental assistance. They will learn about pool safety, proper arm and leg motions, and be introduced to floating. Students will paddle 5 feet without assistance.

Tue        4pm

Thu        10:30am, 4pm

Fri          5:30pm

Sat        9am, 9:45am, 10:30am, 1:30pm


Eel (Ages 3-5)

Prerequisite: Successfully complete Pike. Students will paddle over 5 yards in various positions, do a 10 second back float, jump from the edge and swim to the side. Studentswill demonstrate all skills without assistant.

Mon        4pm

Thu         5:30pm

Fri          10:30am, 4pm

Sat         9am, 9:45am, 10:30am, 1:30pm


Ray (Ages 3-5)

Prerequisite: Successfully complete Eel. Students will paddle 12 yards and learn rhythmic breathing. They will be introduced to diving and elementary backstroke. Students will jump from starting blocks.

Mon        4pm

Wed        5:30pm

Thu        11:00am

Sat         10:30am, 11:15am


Starfish (Ages 3-5)

Prerequisite: Successfully complete Ray. Students will swim one lap of elementary and basic backstroke, basic freestyle, and master a kneeling dive.

Tue        4pm

Thu        11:30am, 4pm

Sat         10:30am


Youth Ages 6-14 (40 Min Lessons)


Polliwog (Ages 6-13)

Beginner or non-swimmer students will get acquainted with the pool and learn pool safety. Students will learn front and back floating, and paddle 12 yards in various positions. Students will demonstrate all skills without assistance.

Mon       4:45pm

Wed       5:30pm

Fri          4:45pm

Sat         9:45am, 11:15am, 12pm

Guppy (Ages 6-13)

Prerequisite: Successfully complete Polliwog.  Students begin learning freestyle, elementary backstroke and backstroke. Students will swim 25 yards. Breaststroke kick is introduced along with treading water and basic diving skills.

Mon       5:30pm

Tue        4:35pm

Wed       4pm

Thu        4:35pm

Sat         9am, 11:15am, 12pm

Minnow (Ages 6-13)

Prerequisite: Successfully complete Guppy. Students will swim 50 yards of formal strokes, including coordination of breathing, kick and arm motions. Freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke and sidestroke will be covered. Butterfly kick, standing and stride dives are introduced.

Tue        4pm

Wed       4:45pm

Fri          4:45pm

Sat         11:15am, 12pm

Fish (Ages 6-13)

Prerequisite: Successfully complete Minnow. Students will learn butterfly, refine the other strokes, and swim 75 yards with proper breathing. Students will learn proper starts, turns and diving skills.

Tue        4:45pm

Wed       4:45pm

Thu         4pm

Sat         12pm, 12:45pm

Flying Fish (Ages 6-13)

Prerequisite: Successfully complete Fish. Students will develop racing starts, learn bilateral breathing, and increase endurance. Students will refine butterfly over 50 yards, and swim all other strokes 150 yards.

Tue        5:30pm

Thu        4:45pm

Sat         12:45pm, 1:30pm

Porpoise (Ages 6-13)

Prerequisite: Successfully complete Flying Fish. Structured for advanced swimmers with knowledge of all four competitive strokes, students will learn to swim a 200 individual medley. Students will gain endurance with long swims while still working on minor stroke refinements. Students will learn basic lifeguard techniques.

Mon       4:45pm

Fri          5:30pm

Sat         12:45pm


Private Swim Lessons (30 Min Lessons) Private lessons provide the greatest flexibility and one-on-one instruction for all ages and abilities. Please fill out a form at the Welcome Center.

Facility Member: $39 / Program Member: $44

Semi-private Facility Member: $44 / Program Member: $49


Make-up classes will be provided only if the YMCA cancels a class, the facility closes or you can provide a doctor’s note verifying a medical reason for the absence.  There will be no make-up provided if 15/20 minutes of time has lapsed before the class is stopped.  Please call the YMCA in the event of inclement weather as we will close the pool if it poses a danger to our members and staff.