About Myrna Shaneyfelt


Celebrating 50+ years of teaching swimming!Myrna & Boy in pool
Growing up in the San Joaquin Valley in Fresno, California, summer-time was spent swimming in the nearby canals and the San Joaquin river, swim team practice and competing in the Jr. Olympics. I received my lifeguard training and certification at the age of 14 and had special meetings with the head of the American Red Cross in Fresno, California, since the regular required age was 16 years old.


My PE coach would have me help teach classmates who
were particularly frighten of the water during PE. As the result of this being done, people sitting on the sidelines watching wanted me to teach their children. The first was deaf and the other blind and as I say the rest is history.

I have always taught in the summertime, even now, from May through September.


Some years later after high school and over 40 years ago, I studied under Rita Curtis. Rita had several swim schools in the San Fernando Valley, in Southern California and was known for her infant swimming techniques. She was the first to introduce the parent child concept of infant swimming.


Before moving to Grants Pass, OR., I taught at various homes throughout the San Fernando Valley. For the past 34 years, I have been teaching out of my home pool in Grants Pass, OR.

It is a privilege to be able to have my third generation of families return year after year for lessons. Over a quarter of my families are second generation. I teach over 600 families and over 800 children in the summer. And a quarter of my children are handicapped.


I celebrated my 50 years of teaching swimming in 2002, with a water show at the public pool in Grants Pass, OR, one of the main attraction was to see my 1-1/2 and 2 and 3 years old swimmers, diving off the one meter board and rolling on to their backs before swimming back to the side of the pool.


Now one would think that I would be ready to retire, but retire isn't in my vocabulary. To be able to further what I have for the future and develop courses in training and teaching my techniques, I have formed a non-profit organization.



Click here to watch a

short movie about Myrna.

Quicktime player is required

for this movie.You can get a

free download here.

1951 - Red Cross Certified Lifeguard - 14 years old (given after special interview with the head of the Aquatics/Lifesaving department).

Assisted Physical Education Coach Miss Dee Pierman in Fall and Spring with teaching fellow students to swim during P.E. Classes at SJM. A special thanks to Miss Pierman for her encouragement and support, may her memory be held alive.

1952 - Swam competitively, Fresno, California swim team. Performed in First Water Show at San Joaquin Memorial high school, Fresno, California.

1951 to 1956 - Life guard at Ft Washington Beach and San Joaquin Memorial high school and taught swimming there (1st student blind and 2nd student deaf). The rest is history...

1962 Myrna taught at Rita Curtis Swim School in San Fernando Valley, California. Learned to teach infants and babies to swim under Rita's direction and helped her launch the first Parent/ Child waterbaby classes in the country. It was Rita's idea to
have more parents involved in learning how to teach their children to swim.

Currently certified as a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, Aquatic Exercise Assoc-    Fitness Instructor, and United States Water Fitness Aquatic Instructor.

A supporting member of World Aquatic Babies Congress

Certified Coach for Synchronized swimming and started the first synchronized swim    team in Southern Oregon, the only one south of Portland, and the current coach of    the Synchro Starlites of the Grants Pass YMCA.



Myrna Shaneyfelt & the Aquatic Wellness Center take no responsibility for the improper usage of any training techniques shown on this site. The techniques are taught by experienced and professionally trained aquatic personal, and should not be tried by individuals that don't have proper training.


2006 Aquatic Wellness Center All Rights Reserved.