We believe swimming should be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of age or ability. No one should be afraid of jumping into a pool on a hot day, or worry about going too close to the beach. Fear has no place in a healthy swim life, which is why we work to eliminate it. Swim Fear Free is available for all age levels, though we specialize in fearful adults. Our instructors are certified in several areas, including by Miracle Swimming and Whispering Autistic which focus on older adults and children on the Autism spectrum. The approach we take is specific to each student in order to achieve the best results and most comfortable environment. More information about our process can be found in the Adult Lessons and Child Lessons pages.
Sallie Smith has been giving swimming lessons since she was 16 years old. She began as a lifeguard for the local community pool where it was part of her job to be an instructor. In her high school, she was a member of the synchronized swimming club, the Dolphin Club, and swam competitively during the summers for the Meadow Pool Association while working as a lifeguard. As a college student, Sallie worked as a lifeguard and an assistant pool manager, while giving lessons to students ages 4 through 18. After college, Sallie gave lessons year round for different facilities, including the Emmaus Aquatic Club from 1983 to 2004. During that period, she attended various seminars and outside training sessions on new and updated techniques for successfully teaching adults, children, and infants how to swim. In 2004, Sallie joined Penny Pantano's newly built swim academy, Swim-In Zone, where she taught until 2012. Since then Sallie has moved her lesson programs to her home pool in the summers and two indoor pools in Allentown during the rest of the year. In 2010, Sallie attended the Miracle Swimming Institute in Sarasota, FL to become a trained instructor focusing on teaching fearful adults. As a result of that training, she has been giving adults MSA lessons in Allentown at the JCC and Steel Fitness Premier, in Annapolis, MD, and New York, NY. Sallie gives lessons to all levels and ages of children and adults, including infant "Mommy & Me" classes. She specializes in giving lessons to special needs children, primarily those on the Autism spectrum, since her certification by Swim Whisperers, an organization dedicated to teaching children with sensory, motor, and learning challenges. Certifications: CPR/AED, First Aid, WSI, Whispering Autistic, Miracle Swimming, Lifeguarding.
Susan Ritter is a lifelong swimmer and loves being in and around the water. Every summer included copious amounts of time at the pool so it was no surprise she became a lifeguard at 16 years old at Emmaus Community Park. Her love of everything aquatic was also evident in her 4 years of participation in the Emmaus High School Dolphin Club (a synchronized swimming club). Susan began to teach swimming again in 2005 at Swim-In Zone with Penny Pantano where she is still a part-time instructor. She discovered she enjoyed introducing the very young children, the children who came with fears, and then adults who also had reservations about the water. In 2010, Susan attended the Miracle Swimming Institute Instructor Training in Sarasota, Florida to become a trained and licensed Miracle Swimming Instructor specifically for teaching fearful adults to conquer their fears. Susan has used this training to fine-tune her skills with every student, regardless of age and ability, as she is also trained by Swim Whispers to specialize in children on the Autism spectrum. She teaches in Allentown, PA, Annapolis, MD, and New York, NY. Certifications: CPR/AED, First Aid, Whispering Autistic, Miracle Swimming, Water Safety.