Sharks & Minnows swim school was established in 1990 by Andy Heinrich. What started as one instructor teaching in one pool, has since grown into one of Florida’s largest swim schools with locations from Orlando to Boca Raton, and everywhere in between. Headquartered in Orlando, Sharks & Minnows now employs over 50 instructors and holds classes in over 30 Florida locations. As a swim instructor, Andy was committed to making his fun and effective approach to swim instruction accessible to all. To that end, he began to expand his learn-to-swim program by hiring additional instructors and identifying communities that could benefit from his program. His vision was to create a swim school that could provide swim lessons within each pocket of the community, making the classes accessible, convenient, and affordable.
The Sharks & Minnows curriculum, as it is taught today, is based on decades of research and practical experience, and takes into account developmental milestones, as well as a swimmer’s previous experience and readiness. The program is designed to first familiarize a swimmer with the water, and then teach basic to advanced skills using an array of songs and games. Each class in the session has a purpose, and we always keep the end goal in mind. At the beginning of each class, we review skills previously taught, and then build upon what we know by adding in new skills incrementally. This process allows a swimmer to achieve his or her goals and to move through our levels at his or her own pace. While guiding each student through the learning process, we strive to instill a genuine and lifelong love of swimming in our students. We care about the experience of each one of our students (and their parents!) and we work to balance a fun learning environment with teacher-guided opportunities to practice each skill as it is introduced. We offer both group and private lessons, and we serve children and adults.