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M. Ellen "Melon" Dash



 
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Do you wish you could swim, have fun and exercise in water wherever you go? Since 1912, adults and children have taken the same "20th Century" lessons.  Those lessons teach strokes, but many students fail to learn strokes because they're afraid in the water. They ask, "What if I drown? What if I sink? What if I panic? I want to feel safe before you teach me strokes." Strokes do not provide comfort or control in water. So we get to the heart of the problem. Once you overcome fear, you can learn to swim. You cannot learn what to do with your arms and legs if you're afraid you might not live. Our guest today, is the author of the book, “CONQUER YOUR FEAR OF WATER: AN INNOVATIVE SELF-DISCOVERY COURSE IN SWIMMING” and is founder of the organization Miracle Swimming Institute , M. Ellen (Melon) Dash.

Founder M. Ellen (Melon) Dash, a competitive swimmer all her life, left her job as a chauffeur and administrative assistant for an orthopedic surgeon in 1982, knowing that there was something she was born to do. A book asked her, "Is there an activity you love which you wouldn't mind being paid $100 to do?" The answer was, 1) coaching swimming and, 2) teaching adults who are afraid in water to swim.

As a graduate student she'd taught Beginning Swimming to undergrads at Keene State College in New Hampshire (1978). One day as a Red Cross instructor at KSC, she stood on the deck teaching a Beginning swim class to 20 undergraduates. As she gave instructions to kick across the pool with the flutter kick, she was stared at by no less than 10 students who were asking a question they couldn't put into words: "Why are you telling me what to do with my arms and legs when I am afraid I might not live?"

She asked the college administration if she could offer a class for undergraduates who weren't ready to learn swimming mechanics because they were afraid. The administration, while cooperative, advised that it would take too much red tape to change the undergraduate curriculum. They suggested she teach a new class through the Adult Extension Program which the College would promote. She agreed.

People came. It worked. They were ecstatic.

In 1983, she realized that no one was expert at helping people who are afraid in water. She realized that this was her work. Transpersonal Swimming Institute opened two months later, May 1, 1983.


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