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Everyone can learn to swim Comfort comes first You can float vertically Overcoming fear IS learning to swim Having fun is the best way to learn Feel safe all the time Overcome fear without feeling afraid Go at your own pace Learn with your swimming people It’s amazing what 5 days can do Learn an infallible, fun system Laugh and learn

Melon Dash, Founder, Miracle Swimming

Photo: Barbara Banks Photography

Melon is short for Mary Ellen

Melon was raised in upstate New York and has been a competitive swimmer since age 7. She received a B.S. in Exercise Science and Nutrition from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst and an M.S. in Exercise Physiology from the University of Michigan. She coached women’s and men’s swim teams at Keene State College in New Hampshire as a graduate student, and was an assistant coach of the women’s swim teams at Harvard, Michigan, and University of California/Berkeley. After thinking about it all as a chauffeur / administrative assistant for an orthopedic surgeon in Berkeley, she opened her swim school in 1983 because adults in traditional swimming lessons were afraid and they weren’t learning.

In Berkeley, she took a psychic class where she “downloaded” The 5 Circles, which clearly explains panic. Many years later, she discovered that it also explains learning. The system has never failed. Its implications are vast.

Desperate to spread the word so that fearful adults could learn and instructors could learn an infallible way to teach them, she produced The Miracle Swimmer DVD in 2000; started the Conquer Fear Instructor Training in 2004; published
Conquer Your Fear of Water in 2006; hosted 13 radio episodes of “The Learn to Swim Show” in 2010; and launched Swim Sarasota in 2018 to teach all adult non-swimmers in Sarasota to swim, a 50-year project. In 2020, she co-authored Conquer Your Fear of the Triathlon Swim with Miracle Swimming Licensee/ Instructor Ali Meeks.
 
She’s spoken at World Aquatic Health Conferences and meetings of the U.S. Swim School Association, American Swimming Coaches Association, National Recreation and Parks, the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and local organizations.
 
Her convictions are that:
1. Fearful adults learn to swim beautifully and joyfully on their first try when comfort is made top priority 
2. The definition of “I Can Swim” must change globally to mean “comfort in deep water,” replacing the current definition: “being able to do a stroke for a short distance in shallow water.”
3. People are spirit first, before mind and body: teach the spirit first.
 
Melon held an Eastern Collegiate Championship in 100 yard butterfly in 1975, (60.7), New England collegiate records in 100 yard butterfly and 400 Freestyle Relay and world rankings as a master swimmer in three events.
 
Her current goals are to finish writing three books and give a TED talk.
 
Her work has been featured in the New York Times several times, NPR, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Psychology Today, San Francisco Chronicle, San Jose Mercury News, Tampa Bay Times, Sarasota Herald Tribune, Sarasota News Leader, Pelican Press, Athletic Business, Aquatics International, Recreation, Elle, Real Simple, The Today Show, TGI4 , The Suncoast View, local news stations, and numerous others.




For Fun

For fun, it’s swimming, SCUBA diving, kayaking, and riding her bike. She has taken her graduates diving to Hawaii, Bonaire, Belize, Fiji, Tahiti, the Maldives, Bali, Southeast Sulawesi, the Caymans, Turks & Caicos, Cozumel, and Honduras.

She likes to design things like the Float Bar and Tether kit. More later!

 

Her hobby: checking out pools!

“A real pool” (left)! This is where Melon swims.

She’s always looking for a pool that’s 92 degrees, shallow and deep, with a zero depth entry or a kiddie pool onsite. This is the ideal place where Miracle Swimming can be taught and afraid adults learn best.

Miracle Swimming leased that pool for 3 years (right). Then, the owners wanted it back to build a school.

A Message on Treading

The Ship Must Be Turned

In order to teach all people to swim and to end drowning, we must define learning to swim in a way that makes each person peaceful in deep water. This has nothing to do with learning strokes. For a heavy dose of Melon’s main passion, go to her blog.

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The bottom line: all people are good even if you have to dig “way deep” to find them.