Join our mailing list!


Miracle Swimming is a "new" system of teaching that guarantees that adults who are afraid in water will learn to swim.
Every single last adult learns to swim.
The system is easy and fun for all. It is applicable to all learning.
The press has reported the results of the system many times, but never its significance.

Miracle Swimming Institute discovered The 5 Circles Teaching System (Miracle Swimming) in 1983, Berkeley, California.
Miracle Swimming Institute transferred operations to a new non-profit (501c3) organization, 21st Century Swimming Lessons, Inc. in 2010.
Today, 21st Century Swimming Lessons delivers Miracle Swimming— true 21st century swimming lessons— in Sarasota, Florida. Its satellite schools offer them in over a dozen US cities, England, and the Philippines.


Since 1912, adults and children have taken swimming lessons developed by Wilbert Longfellow whose program became the American Red Cross lessons and later, the Y's. Many other countries have borrowed this system. When Longfellow was alive, those lessons apparently taught both swimming—the ability to be reliable for ones safety in deep water — and strokes, to adults and children. He knew that in order to learn to swim, fear must be overcome first. Today, however, adults are not taught to overcome their fear first: therefore, they cannot learn to swim in traditional lessons. They only teach strokes. We call such lessons 20th Century swimming lessons. Adults who are afraid in water feel they have failed when they take such lessons.

Why are adults not taught to swim? Because there is a worldwide belief that teaching strokes is the same thing as teaching swimming. At Miracle Swimming, we know that to be untrue. Learning to swim and learning strokes are separate processes, at least for adults. We teach adults to swim. Once they are confident and safe in deep water, we teach strokes. We also teach snorkeling and SCUBA diving.

Swimming has a foundation of three corners: Safety, Comfort, and Control. If you have these three components, you will automatically have propulsion. It won't be efficient propulsion unless you learn strokes. But you will be safe and confident in deep water.

Why do people believe that learning strokes equals learning to swim? Because it appears to work that way for kids. Learning strokes does not equal learning to swim: but as kids learn strokes, they intuitively pick up the skills of swimming on their own (coming up for air, propelling themselves); in addition, many kids who enter swimming lessons already know how to swim: they take lessons to learn strokes. Therefore, it looks as though the lessons taught them to swim even if the actual skills of being able to rely on themselves for their safety in deep water were not taught.

This does not work for afraid adults.

Adults learn differently and must be taught differently than kids.

Miracle Swimming is fun. It is designed for adults who are fearful in deep water.

Orlando Pool for Lessons
One pool we use: a hotel in Orlando, FL

"This is a new paradigm."
Penny Pantano, Owner, Swim-in-Zone
Allentown, PA


Our Beginning class is 24 hours long. In our vacation format, 5 days in Sarasota Florida or Palm Springs California, you learn so much that you need a break after 5 days. Miracle Swimming graduate Kathy spells out the difference between Miracle Swimming and the traditional here.

Our Next Step class follows the Beginning class and is also 24 hours long. The combination of these two classes brings virtually all students to freedom in deep water. Students go at their own pace. They are not held back nor are they pushed. There is no schedule, competition, or comparison. It takes most people 35-48 hours to become free and confident in deep water. If you wish to take the Next Step class more than once, you may.

In San Francisco, our class format is 4 weekends in a row: one class Saturday and one class Sunday. In New York City, the format is 2 weekends: 4 classes each weekend. Our satellite schools offer other formats.


Panic is the main reason people don't learn to swim. In 1983, we began teaching 21st Century lessons. Our system, a true paradigm shift in teaching, works for everyone. Without the knowledge in our system, learning the nuts and bolts of preventing panic rarely happens. Learning is very simple if you're taught the correct steps.

Learn to swim the same way you learned to walk. It can't possibly fail. Our system is based upon:

1) being comfortable all the time, 2) going at your own pace and 3) The 5 Circles Teaching System which literally guarantees learning.

All your questions are answered and no steps are skipped. The system is gentle, fun, and simple. Heal fear instead of managing it. Miracle Swimming is the only internationally-taught swim instruction system we know that teaches comfort and control.

Everyone should know how to swim.

Forty-six percent of American adults are afraid in water over their heads in pools. That's 109 million people! Sixty-four percent are afraid in deep, open water. Thirty-nine percent are afraid to put their heads under water (Gallup Poll 1998). Seventy percent of drownings in America today are by adults (and inching up yearly).

When you overcome your fear of water, swimming comfortably and feeling safe in deep water is the spontaneous, predictable, inevitable, result. This is why we guarantee that you'll learn.

Together we can all end drowning... we believe it can be done by 2100 if the nation's and the world's swim instructors and adult non-swimmers climb on board.

Miracle Swimming is now headquartered in Sarasota, Florida in a non-profit called 21st Century Swimming Lessons, which developed from Miracle Swimming Institute. Miracle Swimming is our teaching. We have 50 trained and licensed instructors to date in the U.S. and around the world.

We hope you'll join us and find out what's possible in the world of swimming and adult beginning lessons.

The printable class schedule and the interactive schedule which takes you to registration pages with prices can be found here. No obligation.