About Swim in Balance
Swim in Balance was founded in February 2015 by two Dutch professional musicians, both of whom are also Alexander Technique teachers: Hylke Rozema (horn player) and Esther Visser (violinist).
During their training as an Alexander Technique teacher they became interested in the swimming method of Steven Shaw (UK), who was himself a professional swimmer and Alexander Technique teacher. They were the first from the Netherlands to follow his Shaw Method teacher training course and they have introduced the method in the Netherlands. Hylke later chose a different career and Esther has been leading the company since 2017.
Esther has assisted Steven Shaw for many years in training new Shaw Method teachers in England and Portugal. Swim in Balance has been given the exclusivity for the Netherlands to offer this method. Esther now trains teachers for Swim in Balance herself and has gathered an enthusiastic and skilled team of teachers around her.
In 2015, Swim in Balance started offering Shaw Method classes for just one evening a week, in Amsterdam. The interest was overwhelming from the start: The courses were fully booked long in advance. There appeared to be an enormous need for people to be able to swim in a more efficient and long-lasting way. The number of people who have shoulder and neck complaints and who want to do something about it by swimming also turned out to be very large.
During the same period, open water swimming also became increasingly popular, partly due to Maarten van der Weijden's record attempt to swim the Eleven Cities Tour. The method that Swim in Balance uses turned out to be very much in line with this. The number of evening classes was soon expanded and Swim in Balance now has course locations in three cities: Amsterdam, Utrecht and Haarlem. Lessons are now held on almost every day of the week. The ambition is to have locations in ten different cities throughout the Netherlands within five years.
In 2017, Esther heard from a Croatian Alexander Technique teacher friend that there was a hotel by the sea at the very southern tip of Istria, with a largely unused 25-meter indoor swimming pool. This pool was just the right depth and temperature needed for the Swim in Balance method. Esther went to have a look and it turned out to be perfect indeed. Since the summer of 2017, Swim in Balance has therefore also offered three one-week swimming holidays, during which the Dutch participants in Croatia receive lessons every day for a week: a nice formula. During the last swimming holiday in September 2021, 26 participants took part.
“Very nice week in a nice environment to learn the Shaw method.”
“If like me you thought you could never learn to crawl, and if you want to learn to get more impact (not just in the pool) with less force, then this is a course to do. Accessible, nice people, interesting method, wonderful location and real results.”
“I wholeheartedly recommend Swim in Balance swimming holidays. Learning a new stroke really well, with all the individual guidance that every participant needs, is guaranteed to succeed here. In addition, I learned a lot about the Alexander Technique, on which Swim in Balance bases its swimming method – also super valuable for other sports, making music and life in general. Even though we worked hard, it really felt like a holiday – great to hit the sauna after a swim! I wish Swim in Balance many more happy participants!”
“A memorable adventure, where to my amazement I really learned to front crawl, unbelievable!”
"Great, fun course, does what it promises"
"During the basic front crawl course, it was explained step-by-step and clearly how we can crawl according to the Shaw method. This is quite a bit different from what I've ever learned. But because of the clear explanation and the slow build up of the battle, it was easy to adjust. Lydia was also a very nice and enthusiastic instructor."
"All my life I was afraid of water and afraid of learning to swim. But after 6 weeks of Water Confidence I managed to leave most of my fear behind. Fantastic, I am very grateful to you!"
"Take a course. Swim in balance is good for your body and mind!"
"I have (already) followed a very nice course. Under professional guidance I was taken step by step in learning a new swimming stroke. It feels like dancing in the water. Recommended!"
“I really benefit from the lessons and come home happy every time.”
“I have never dared to put my head under water in all my life. After 2 lessons with Esther I completely got over my fear and because of that I was able to snorkel with the sea lions and their babies during my holiday in Galapagos!!! Top!!!!"
“I've been trying to teach myself the front crawl for years. With regular lessons you are quickly “forgotten” as a beginner. Esther teaches you, in a relaxed way, a very nice stroke without forcing your back or shoulders. From water habituation (floating) to the entire stroke. Recommended!”
“The course really made me realize that the more aligned you are in the water, the more comfortable swimming is. Very glad I learned this, thank you!”
“Celebrating a holiday and also learning something has never been so much fun!”
“Instructive course, recommended!”
"Finally working on my front crawl in a relaxed way, before I mainly did this with brute force, but now through Swim in Balance courses and exercises this is done in a relaxed way, very happy with it."
“This special journey has brought me a lot, through the Alexander swimming technique and the relaxing way of teaching I have become friends with water again. Besides this “friendship reunited”, other wonderful people and experiences have come my way. Thanks for this special week.”
“My experience with the course was teaching the professional approach of the correct technique, in both the group instructions and the individual guidance, as well as the conviviality.”
“Being always a bit afraid of the water, this has really been a life changing experience. I will not be doing the Olympics any time soon, but I definitely am happy with the outcome.”
”I thought the crawl basic course was a very nice course, very relaxed setting, Niels is a great teacher with an eye for detail, and a clear explanation. Before the course I had no experience with the front crawl, and now I can swim the front crawl in a good and relaxed way, and I have the basics to train this stroke in a good way. Outside the bath I also benefit from the body awareness that you get in this method, so that I am more often aware of my posture and can improve it.”
“Nice course. You learn to swim again, but in a constructive way. Very nice to discover that you can swim quickly with not much effort. And the crawl like this is a beautiful stroke.”
“In small steps, with good instruction and stimulating guidance, the basics for chest crawl learned in a short time.”
“Great lessons, fun and effective.”
“The swimming holiday to Croatia was wonderful! Good weather, beautiful people, learning new things every day in the salt water pool, fun optional activities and plenty of free time to go your own way. Perfect!"
“I thought it was a great experience to learn so much in such a short time! The classes were at the same time very relaxed, completely relaxed! Delicious! I had surgery on my back a few months ago, the result is not good, I hesitated to take the classes, but it has given me a lot of good! Recommended!"
“I was very happy with the front crawl level 1 course (in the swimming pool) as well as the 2 hour workshop in the lake 't Wed. Both have given me the skills to feel confident to swim laps in a pool or to swim in open water. Esther is a great instructor with patience and a passion for this sport. She is very relaxed and explains things in a concise and encouraging way. Anyone interested in improving their technique so you can swim more efficiently would benefit greatly from following Esther's courses.”
“This course completely fulfills the promise! Really fun and educational to do.”
“Perfect course. Never thought that something I've wanted to do for years could be taught so easily. I wish I had done it years earlier.”
“A wonderful mix of sporting effort and relaxation. Exactly what I needed! Sun, sea, salt water and inspiring swimmers!”
“I have experienced the Shaw Method as subtle, friendly, logical, natural, intelligent and effective. The instructors are calm and thoughtful. The technology is made up of building blocks so that you can fall back on the basics if you have lost the technology for a while.”
“Esther taught me the basics of the front crawl in 6 lessons. The lessons are very clearly structured and ensure that you slowly get used to a new habit. The Shaw Method provides a relaxed way of swimming where relaxation is the most important. The advanced lessons allowed me to continue working on my technique and since then I have been jumping in the pool with great pleasure and confidence. Thanks!”
“If you thought you could swim, give this a try. You will learn relaxing techniques from expert teachers in a beautiful swimming pool on the coast of Croatia.”
“A wonderful hour of relaxing in the water and at the same time developing more feeling. Nice to experience how effective it is to apply the Alexander Technique to swimming! I recommend it to all swimming enthusiasts.”