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Ian Cross
About Ian Cross

Ian has over 20 years' experience teaching swimming and the Alexander Technique and has taught hundreds of adults and children to swim. He emphasises the importance of learning to do less, simple but not always easy, and especially enjoys helping non-swimmers and people who are nervous in water.

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“Ian's method is to involve you in the whole process of swimming. It's as though you are both discovering the possibilities of what you can do, together. (Richard, Shropshire)"
Ian Cross

About Ian Cross

Ian has over 20 years' experience teaching swimming and the Alexander Technique and has taught hundreds of adults and children to swim. He emphasises the importance of learning to do less, simple but not always easy, and especially enjoys helping non-swimmers and people who are nervous in water.


From specialist experience gained from daily, hands-on work, Ian helps you learn to enjoy the support of the water.  

Learning to swim shouldn't be a struggle because confidence in the water is gained by doing less, not more. Nervous/non-swimmers need to be shown how to think differently about water; to learn to trust it to support them and to enjoy the process, both of learning and of moving through the water. 

Being in the water can help us to relax but trying too hard to swim, especially conventional strokes, causes strain. 

Very comfortable in water with a thorough knowledge of the four competitive strokes - see Ian swimming here -, Ian has no personal interest these days in swimming for fitness, or in covering great distances. He believes the therapeutic benefits of swimming have nothing to do with measuring distances/ times/ fitness gains, or seeing the water as any kind of obstacle to overcome. It's there to support us, to help us undo tension, breathe and move. 

"Something of a low-key evangelist, Ian is dedicated to introducing the masses to the pleasures of recreational swimming. Using touchstones gleaned from his experience of teaching the Alexander Technique, he coaxes and gently encourages, helping the non-swimmer and swimmer to feel more at home in the water." Pete Chapman, The Independent

Ian uses hands on guidance to teach. Being in the pool with you allows him to demonstrate and explain movements to help you understand them.  He wrote Swimming Without Stress: Lessons For Land Lovers in 2005 (it's now available on Amazon Kindle, easy to read on devices). He produces regular short articles for the blog on this website, sharing his insights into the teaching and learning of swimming and the Alexander Technique. 

In his younger days, Ian did a language degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, taught English in Tokyo and spent six years working as a Careers Adviser in schools, colleges and a Young Offenders institution. He set up Swimming Without Stress in Oxfordshire in 1996 and gave up his day job in 1998 to train with swimming and Alexander Technique pioneer Steven Shaw. He continued teaching in Oxfordshire until 2003, before setting up the residential course in Wales. 

Ian's been married to Cheryl since 1991. They have four children, a grandson and two dogs. 

Visit our blog for Ian's thoughts about swimming, learning and teaching, using the Alexander Technique.

Have a look at our YouTube channel for videos of Ian working in the water, on himself and with others.

See customer feedback from people who've been on our residential course.