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 Correct information does wonders!



Vernon December 5, 2022

From afraid to let go of the wall in 3 feet December 5 to becoming happy in the deep end of a pool by December 16, swimming in the ocean on December 30, then jumping off a boat January 6 to surfing on January 12…this is what’s possible with Miracle Swimming. The surfing was learned on holiday the week after finishing 5 courses with us. No one has ever done all our Core Courses in one month before. Standing ovation, Vernon!

Be A Hero to Adult Students

You can be 100% successful with adult students who are afraid in deep water. How would that feel?

  • They cannot focus on what to do with their arms and legs when they think they might die
  • Learn a new way of seeing
  • Teach essential skills you’ve never seen before
  • Change the goal of lessons to comfort
  • Learn how to heal fear rather than managing and avoiding it
  • Make learning easy
  • Forget about stroke mechanics
  • Be yourself
  • Validate yourself for things you’ve known but never had words for
  • Back up your teaching with forty years of proven explanations
  • Succeed with every single student. Give them reason to come back. Take them to their goals.
  • Teach things that make sense
  • Take our Instructor Training to learn how to teach “afraids” correctly every time

See the free Swim Instructors Masterclass, recorded February 25, 2023 on Zoom.

See the videos at the left to watch one student’s one-month path from fear in a pool to freedom in the ocean.

Read our book to learn what to teach.

Listen to our podcast to understand how traditional swim instruction is completely wrong for afraid students.

Watch our video to see real classes in action with our core teaching.

Everyone on your aquatics staff needs these. They are the keys to being 100% successful with afraid adults.

We believe that teaching non-swimmer adults to be calm in deep water is the key to ending preventable drowning.


What Is the Movement?

The Miracle Swimming Movement is a 40 year-old teaching system* that teaches adults who are terrified or afraid in deep water how to be peaceful in deep water without learning strokes. It’s the way to teach adults to swim (to be safe in deep water) that works virtually 100% of the time. Is there any other system that works this well for adults who are afraid? We haven’t seen it.

They can’t learn physical skills if they’re afraid. Fear is their focus. It has to be! They can easily learn to swim if you meet them where they are and give them correct instructions.

Panic looks like this
Learning looks like this

“What? Learn to swim without learning strokes?!"

Yes. There’s a lot more to knowing how to swim than strokes. It turns out that the other stuff is more important!

The other stuff is where safety is.

What do you call someone who can do strokes in four feet of water but who won’t do them in the deep end? A non-swimmer!

A person who can swim is not afraid in deep water. So, that person can’t “swim.” S/he can stroke. She is executing a movement called “swimming” but she can’t “swim.”

Is every student who “finished lessons” at your school peaceful in deep water? Adults? Kids?

Our students from all 50 states and 17 countries took swimming lessons at home—not just once—and they didn’t make satisfactory progress. So they went to the internet, found us, took a vacation, and turned their swimming around.

Knowing how to swim is more than strokes. It’s peacefulness in deep water. It’s mastery of the relationship between one’s body and the water. It’s knowing how you float. And whether you float. It’s knowing what a float is. It’s not worrying about how you’ll get air.

If you teach adults who are afraid in water (half of American adults) in shallow water, and they learn freestyle but never go to deep water, and you turn them loose saying, “There you go! I’ve taught you to swim!” we believe it’s an error. They know they aren’t safe. And that means they can’t swim. In your heart of hearts, do you know, that, too?

It’s the same for kids. They usually learn in water over their heads, but do they learn to stop and rest indefinitely? If not, they are not yet safe. They cannot swim.

You may say, “But if it works in shallow water, it’ll work in deep water.” That should be true but it’s not…because afraid students’ minds are not in synch with their bodies in deep water. They don’t understand the water.

Students learning to float. (Pre-Covid)


“My students are suffering from what I don’t know.”
Sharon Powers, Powers Swim School

“Melon identified something that was wrong with the way adults were being taught to swim. She developed a system to teach afraid adults that has set the bar high for every aquatic agency and/or swim instructor—to visit their methods and make some adjustments to meet the needs of adults who have fear of water.”
                                        Sue Nelson, USA Swimming


You said so much that’s industry-disrupting. One of them was that if we’re not comfortable in deep water, we can’t swim. That hit home.”

Eric Hill, Miracle Swimming “book graduate”


Swim Instructor Masterclass

On February 25, 2023, come to a free Master Class for instructors to learn the basics of teaching afraid adults to swim. This material has never been made public.

Who Says?

Melon (nee Mary Ellen) Dash, founder of Miracle Swimming and Miracle Swimming School for Adults has been trained by her 6000 afraid adult students.

She’s taught afraid adult non-swimmers exclusively, full time, nonstop for forty years. She wrote a book about what her students taught her: the solution. If there is only one solution, this is it. If there are several, this is one of them. Whereas her students used to “lose it” in deep water, they now “keep it.”

Dash is a nationally-ranked masters swimmer. She developed a new paradigm for teaching and learning in 1983: The 5 Circles Teaching Method.

Instructors worldwide have been licensed to teach this unimpeachable system.

Adults are afraid because their parents were afraid, or they were hurt by a water experience, or they were taught incorrectly.

The incorrect teaching can end. It must end. We believe all instructors of adults must know how to be reliably successful teaching the healing of fear.

Dash has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, NPR, NBC’s Today Show, CNN’s Headline News, Psychology Today, Real Simple, Tampa Bay Times, and dozens more.


Example of Incorrect Teaching

“You must be horizontal to float correctly.” If you tell a fit man or woman that to float correctly they must be horizontal, how do you explain it? If their feet go to the bottom in four feet of water when they lie down on the water—which is their natural float—(the water is doing all the work) and you tell them their feet have to be at the surface, you are asking them to struggle to lift their feet up. For what purpose? It pulls their chins down and prevents them from learning. The swim team doesn’t float horizontally.

Floating is not meant to be a struggle. “Feet on the bottom and face in the air” is a perfectly good float.  

An adult or child whose feet go to the bottom in shallow water is simply demonstrating physics: dense (muscular) legs don’t float. But upper bodies with lungs, fat, or breasts float just fine.

If they try to hold their feet up, they end up in a V float which is uncomfortable, unbalanced, and unsustainable, often pulling the face under water.

Swimming students believe  teachers who have a credential. Yet the believing student is often misled. This causes frustration,  discouragement and failure. Mistrust in the learn-to-swim system is widespread.

Teaching misinformation prevents people from learning. But it can be fixed.

Many instructors notice that their teaching doesn’t get through to everyone. They think it’s the student’s fault. At Miracle Swimming, we’ve concluded that this is rarely the case.

You can teach a system that reaches every afraid adult every single time and produces adults who are no longer afraid in deep water…and are ecstatic. They become safe. Then, they enroll in your advanced programs.

On February 25, 2023, Melon Dash will hold a free Master Class for instructors to learn the basics of teaching afraid adults to swim. This material has never been made public.

Why Teach Adults?

Adults control the family budget. They decide what the family will do and which activities their kids will participate in. Adults give kids messages about swimming. If adults can swim, those messages will be one thing. If they can’t, the messages will be something else. Often, they can make kids afraid. It has been well-cited that there’s a higher chance that kids of swimmer-parents will learn to swim than kids of non-swimmer parents—by a longshot.

If 80% of drowning in the U.S. is by adults (CDC 2020), why aren’t there as many adult swim schools as kids’ swim schools? There are three times as many adults as kids in the U.S. You’d think there would be three times as many swim schools. Yet there are almost none. Could it be because instructors have not been successful teaching adults who are afraid in water—half of the adult population? Could it be that many adults have tried and become discouraged? Our graduates have told us so.

If instructors knew how to teach afraid adults with 100% success, more parents could swim.

If more adults could swim, fewer would drown. More kids would learn to swim. Fewer kids would drown. If all adults and kids could swim, the drowning rate would plummet. 

The premise (from the early 1900s) that if we teach all kids to swim, all adults will eventually be able to swim never panned out: parents’ fear, lack of pool access, and instructors’ lack of knowledge prevented it.

There’s a mountain of material to learn.

Holding hands made jumping in possible

Do You Ever Have These Problems?

  • Your adults quit classes
  • You don’t know how to help them
  • You don’t feel connected to them
  • Their progress is glacially slow
  • They keep checking their watches
  • They pretend they understand and feel okay, but you know they don’t
  • You don’t feel successful with them

Join the Miracle Swimming Prospective Instructors list!

Miracle Swimming Movement

The Miracle Swimming Movement has these tenets as part of its foundation:

◈ The main purpose of learning to swim—first and foremost—is to become safe in water over one’s head

◈ Safety in water over one’s head should be taught before strokes, treading, and other advanced water skills

◈ To guarantee learning, comfort is non-negotiable

◈ Every student is a natural, curious learner and learning can always be fun. There is no need for rushing, pressure, discomfort, or fear in learning.

◈ We can virtually end drowning around the world if we teach safety first to all people. Those who wish to learn efficiency as well—which comes from strokes—may learn it afterward.

◈ Learning to swim is learning to be peaceful in water over one’s head. Learning strokes is learning to be efficient in water.  Safety first; efficiency later.

◈ Someone who can swim is not afraid in deep water. Someone who is not peaceful in deep water cannot swim.

◈ It’s essential to teach kids to swim. It’s even more important to teach adults to swim…first.

◈ All people of all ages can learn to swim unless they have a debilitating learning handicap.