Learn to Swim

Learn to Swim provides swim lessons for every level of swimmer beginning at age 3. Group, private and semi-private lessons (up to two swimmers) are available. We recommend private lessons for any participants over age 8 and tot private lessons for children beginning at 2.5 years old. (Children must be 3 years old at the start of the series to participate in group lessons.)

This progressive program allows participants to gain confidence and improve their ability in the water, progressing to fine tune all four competitive strokes.

Meet the Director: Rachel Cook | 303-871-7006 |

Program Information

Current Series: June 9 – July 14

Next Series: TBA

Ages: 3 years and older

Cost: Varies

Register Online

Upcoming Series

Series 4: June 9 – July 14 (no classes on July 4 or 7)

Group lessons and private lessons are offered on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings; or Saturday mornings. Tot lessons and morning private lessons are offered on Tuesday, Friday or Saturday mornings (and, during the summer series, on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Saturday mornings). Make-up classes are not offered for missed sessions.

Please note: Lessons may be combined and/or a schedule may change based on the number of participants.

Series 4 schedule:

Levels 1-3: 30-minute sessions

Monday/Wednesday (twice a week): 4:45-7:00 p.m.

Tuesday/Thursday (twice a week): 4:45-7:00 p.m.

Tuesday (Level 1 only): 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Wednesday (Level 2 only): 11:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Level 4: 45-minute sessions

Monday/Wednesday (twice a week): 4:45-6:15 p.m.

Tuesday/Thursday (twice a week): 4:45-7:00 p.m.

Saturday: 11:55 a.m.- 12:40 p.m.

Pre-Team: 45-minute sessions, twice a week

Monday/Wednesday: 4:45-5:30 p.m.

Tuesday/Thursday: 4:45-5:30 p.m.

Saturday (once a week): 1:00-2:00 p.m.

Private lessons: 30-minute sessions

Monday/Wednesday (twice a week): 5:20-7:00 p.m.

Tuesday/Thursday (twice a week): 5:20-7:00 p.m.

Monday: 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Tuesday: 12:30-1:00 p.m.

Wednesday: 12:30-1:00 p.m.

Thursday: 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Saturday: 9:30 a.m. – 12:20 p.m.

Tot lessons: 20-minute sessions

Monday: 11:40 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Tuesday: 12:05-12:25 p.m.

Wednesday: 12:05-12:25 p.m.

Saturday: 10:30-11:50 a.m.

Adult lessons: 60-minute sessions (meet twice a week)

Monday/Wednesday: 7:15-8:15 p.m.

Series 4 Cost

Registration fees have been prorated for dates in which classes are not held.

Level 1-3

Mondays/Wednesdays: $175.50

Tuesdays/Thursdays: $195.00

Tuesday mornings: $97.50

Saturdays: $97.50

Level 4

Mondays/Wednesdays: $241.65

Tuesdays/Thursdays: $268.50

Saturdays: $134.25


Mondays/Wednesdays: $131.85

Tuesdays/Thursdays: $131.85

Saturdays: $97.50


Mondays/Wednesdays: $114.75

Private Lessons

Mondays/Wednesdays: $290.25

Tuesdays/Thursdays: $322.50

Monday mornings: $161.25

Tuesday mornings: $161.25

Wednesday mornings: $129.00

Saturdays: $161.25


Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays: $105.00

Wednesdays: $84.000

Learn to Swim Levels

Level 1

30-minute sessions

Skill level/ages: Beginning swimmers, ages 3-7

Level 1 introduces submersions, safety, front and back floats, basics for the elementary backstroke, beginning freestyle arms, kick, and overall comfort and confidence in the water.

To progress to level 2, participants must demonstrate comfort in the water and the ability to float unassisted on their back for at least five seconds.

Level 2

30-minute sessions

Skill level/ages: Advanced beginning swimmers, ages 3-7

Level 2 focuses on front/back glides, underwater object retrieval, bobs, independent swimming (freestyle, backstroke and elementary backstroke), flutter/dolphin kicks and unassisted deep-water entry.

To move on to level 3, participants must demonstrate each skill with confidence and independently swim the freestyle, elementary backstroke and backstroke unassisted for at least 15 feet.

Level 3

30-minute sessions

Skill level/ages: Intermediate swimmers ready to improve body mechanics for a more advanced stroke, ages 4-9

Level 3 focuses on efficient flutter/dolphin kicking, improved arm-form techniques for each stroke, rotary breathing, and an introduction to breaststroke, butterfly and diving.

Before progressing to Level 4, participants must demonstrate each skill with superior confidence and independently swim (with proper technique) the freestyle, backstroke and elementary backstroke 25 yards.

Level 4

45-minute sessions

Skill level/ages: Advanced swimmers comfortable swimming 25 yards, ages 4-9

Level 4 sessions are designed to encourage participants to become more efficient, knowledgeable and stronger in the water. These classes focus on swimming the four competitive strokes legally.

Level 4 lessons also include a detailed approach to teaching butterfly and breaststroke.


45-minute sessions 

Skill level/ages: Advanced swimmers comfortable swimming 50 yards, ages 6-10

Pre-Team sessions are designed to assist advanced swimmers in moving onto the Hilltoppers Swim Team. Swimmers will build stamina and endurance while practicing all four competitive swim strokes.

Swimmers will employ skills learned in previous levels including dive starts, flip turns, lane etiquette and reading the clock.

Before progression into Pre-Team, swimmers must demonstrate ability to stay actively engaged in a team setting and swim (with proper technique) 50 yards of freestyle and backstroke, and 25 yards of breaststroke and butterfly.

Tot Private Lessons

20-minute private sessions

Skill level/ages: 2.5 – 5 years

These private lessons help your child to gain comfort in the water by working on floating, kicking and beginning arm coordination using play and games.

Participants progress into Level 1 based on skills mastered as well as age.

Private Lessons

30-minute private sessions

Skill level/ages: All levels and ages

Whether it’s your first time in the pool or you’re looking to refresh your skills, private learn to swim lessons are an excellent opportunity to improve your swimming skills in a one-on-one, instructional environment.

Follow the curriculum of Levels 1-4 or let us tailor sessions to fit your specific training needs.

Adult Lessons

60-minute sessions (meets twice a week)

Skill level/ages: Moderate swim skills, ages 18 and older

These lessons are built specifically for swimmers who are able to swim multiple times across the pool and complete a 60-minute workout but are looking to develop techniques, learn advanced swim strokes or construct the best workout to meet your swimming goals. The curriculum is designed toward development and growth to move into our Masters Swimming program.

Adult swimmers looking to develop basic swimming skills are better suited for our private lessons.


45-minute sessions (five sessions per series)

Skill level/ages: Level 4 and above

Clinics are designed to develop advanced swimmers’ skills in particular strokes. Swimmers with focus on fundamentals for the stroke via both dryland and in-the-water techniques. By the end of the five-week series, swimmers should learn a legal stroke.

Series 4 registration

Beginning May 14: Participants who were enrolled in Learn to Swim Series 3

Beginning May 23: All participants

Register Online

To register over the phone, please call 303-871-4484.

Contact Us

For additional information on Learn to Swim or for help selecting the correct level for your swimmer’s ability, please call 303-871-4484, email or complete the interest form below.

Learn to Swim Interest Form

Affiliation with DU:
Programs of Interest:
Best Time to Contact:
Preferred Method of Contact:

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I bring for swim lessons?

We recommend a set of goggles and a towel. If you forget a towel, we have a limited supply available.

Where do I park, and how do I get a parking permit?

There are several parking options around the Ritchie Center. To request a Ritchie Center parking permit, please visit or call 303-871-3210 after registering for Learn to Swim. Your permit will be mailed to you within 7-10 days of your request. If you need a temporary parking permit for your first Learn to Swim session, please contact us at 303-871-4484.

Where should I meet for my lessons?

Please check in at the Coors Fitness Center front desk (located on the south side of the Ritchie Center) and proceed to El Pomar Natatorium. Once in the pool, please meet on the pool bleachers at the shallow end of the pool while you wait for your lesson. When it’s time for your lesson, your child’s instructor will call him/her over.

Do I have access to a locker room?

Yes. Both the men’s and women’s locker rooms are accessible from the pool deck. You will also have access to showers.

What are the requirements for each level?

Each level has specific skill sets that need to be met. For more information regarding skill sets and level appropriateness, please visit our “Levels” tab above.

How do I know when my child is ready for the next level?

At the end of each series, your child will receive a progress report that indicates the level for which the instructor feels he/she is ready.

What is the instructor-to-participant ratio?

We restrict our group class size to four students for Level 1-4 group lessons. There is one instructor per class.

Private and semi-private classes are also available.

Are the classes divided by age?

Our classes are arranged by ability, not age. Your child’s lesson level will be determined by his/her swimming level. Therefore, a more skilled swimmer will be in a higher level.

What is the difference between group and private lessons?

Group lessons involve more than one child per instructor.

A private lesson has one child and one instructor. Because private lessons provide one-on-one attention, they can more dramatically improve your child’s swimming abilities. These lessons focus on technique and skill development to build upon a swimmer’s foundation.

Semi-private lessons are also available for two, three or four students with one instructor.

How many times per week does my child have class?

Unless otherwise noted, lessons meet once per week for 30 minutes.

When does registration begin for each series?

Priority registration, which is open to participants in the current series, begins approximately six weeks before the start of the next series, except for the summer series. For summer, priority registration opens approximately four weeks before the series starts.

General registration, which is open to the public, begins approximately four weeks before the end of the current series, except for the summer series. For summer, general registration begins approximately three weeks before the series starts.