Despite my long tenure in Beijing and my legion of fantastic friends here, I’m often the last person to learn about the great things in The Jing. Case in point, I just found out we hosted the Olympics back in the summer of 2008. Who knew?
For the past year, my wife and have been discussing swimming lessons for our girl child. I started swimming lessons when I was six or seven and loved it, but my main concern as a parent is for her own survival skills. Swimming is the one sport I can think of that might save a child’s life, so knowing how to swim and to feel confident in the water is a must have skill. We looked at the options around Wangjing, but everywhere we looked we had to join a gym first and then pay for the lessons on top of that, making swimming lessons for a first grader very expensive.
Then a good friend told us their daughter was taking lessons with Dragon Fire Swimming at the Canadian International School. I checked out their website and immediately signed my daughter up. Ironically, as soon as I mentioned this to other friends, I got a collective, oh yeah, we go there too. One mother pointed out that she felt it was more affordable but that they actually teach kids survival skills in the water and not just how to improve their swimming strokes.
For us, the first lesson went a bit rough since I could not find my daughters goggles and she clearly did not feel comfortable with the style of the instructor. I should point out that she also did not like getting water on her face, so that complicated everything. To boost her confidence, the instructor suggested she go down to the beginner 1 class with Mickey until she is comfortable in the water. For a kid just starting out Mickey is the perfect instructor. He connects well with the kids and by the end of the first lesson with him my daughter was sticking her face in the water and having a great time. I also noticed that the moms find Mickey easy on the eyes.
Even though the lessons have already started, if you sign up now, the classes are prorated and there are still available time slots (we missed the first three lessons). To find out more about the schedule and prices visit www.dragonfire.com.cn. And don’t forget to take a towel.
Photo courtesy of North Charleston (Flickr)