With Lap Swimming, Swim Lessons, Water Aerobics, and Family Swims the BAC pool is one of the hottest places to be in Whatcom County! Contact if you have questions.

Lap Swim

If you swim laps, you can keep track of your mileage and earn T-shirts. T-shirts are awarded at 25 miles, 50 miles, 100 miles, and every 100 miles thereafter up to 1000 miles. Want to make sure there's space in the pool for your workout? Members are welcome to reserve the lane on the far right side of the pool during select times. Reserve online with our web portal or give us a call!

Swim Lessons

Swim Lessons are available for anyone ages 6 months to adult. Lessons are taught on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., 3:30-5:30 p.m., and 6:00-8:00 p.m. Please see the Current Swim Lessons for our current swim session and prices.

We also offer private semi-private lessons. Call the Aquatics Director or Cordata Front Desk at (360) 676-1800 for prices or to sign up.

Swim Team

The goal of our swim team is to transition students into swimming as a competitive sport. This is a learning based program intended to prep students for swimming in high school or a similar club team (tryouts available).

Aqua Aerobics

Get a great cardio low-impact workout in the water! Great for all abilities and fitness levels.

Aqua Zumba

Looking for a water aerobics class with a twist? Try out Aqua Zumba! It is a fast-paced, body-toning water workout that combines the rhythm of a traditional Zumba class with the increased resistance in the pool.

Swim Lessons are available for anyone ages 6 months to adult. Prices vary per session.  We also offer private and semi private lessons. Contact or Cordata Front Desk at (360) 676-1800 for prices or to sign up.

If your student is currently enrolled in our program, please place them according to their previous level. We will be assessing and adjusting on the first day of lessons, but if you would prefer to have an independent assessment, please contact Brittany at to set up a placement test. Note: These are the required skills to pass each level, not entrance skills.

Angelfish: For those age 6 mo-3 years

  • This is a Parent-Child aquatics class, focused on water adjustment and enjoyment!
  • You will learn how to hold your child in the water, practice survival skills and play games aimed at providing a positive first experience in the pool

Beluga: For those age 3 years +

  • For students who have never had lessons before
  • Focus on head & face submersion, bubbles through mouth & nose 5 seconds
  • Introduction to crawl stroke, front and back floats, & elementary backstroke (w/assistance)
  • Introduction to jumps & water safety

Starfish: For those age 7+ and just starting out

  • Meant for beginners - this is our youth beginner class! This class is for those who are a little older and just starting out - they may have some fears of the water, may or may not be comfortable putting their face under, and may or may not have had swim lessons before. For this level, the focus is on getting students adjusted for more advanced levels and becoming comfortable with the curriculum.
  • Students will learn:
    • Water adjustment and comfort (how to relax in the water)
    • Swimming 10-20 ft on own
    • Kicking with board
    • Ice Cream Scoops with rollover breathing
    • Elementary backstroke
    • Floating
    • Treading water
    • Essential Safety Skills

Clownfish: For those who have passed Beluga

  • Focus on transitioning from swimming with assistance to unassisted skills – by the end of the level they will be swimming 15-20 feet on their own
  • Effective crawl stroke and kicks
  • Front and back glide
  • Front & back floats w/ recovery (10-15 seconds)
  • Introduction to dolphin kick

Dolphin: For those who have passed Clownfish

  • Focus on increased distance and endurance – They will be swimming full lengths on a regular basis
  • Development of freestyle (crawl stroke) technique & side breathing
  • Introduction to backstroke
  • Effective glide w/kick – on stomach, back, and dolphin
  • Introduction to treading water
  • Introduction to side stroke

Flounder: For those who have passed Dolphin

  • Distance: They will be swimming 3-5 lengths on a regular basis
  • Refine freestyle and backstroke
  • Introduction to breaststroke
  • Underwater glide w/ dolphin kick
  • Tread water (40-60 seconds)

Jellyfish: For those who have passed Flounder

  • Distance: 6-8 lengths
  • Refine freestyle, backstroke & breaststroke
  • Introduction to butterfly
  • Introduction to flip turns
  • Side stroke
  • Introduction to yardage & competitive swimming skills

Manatee: For those who have passed Jellyfish

  • Distance: 12 lengths
  • Refine freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly
  • 100 yards freestyle w/flip turns
  • Introduction to backstroke flipturns
  • Introduction to IM order
  • Competitive swimming skills including time clock, starts, turns, & finishes

Swim Team: For those who have passed Manatee (tryouts available)

  • Refine all 4 strokes
  • Competitive swimming skills
  • Introduction to race starts, turns & finishes
  • Refine flipturns & streamlines
  • Drills to develop technique, endurance and speed
  • The goal of our swim team is to transition students into swimming as a competitive sport. This is a learning based program intended to prep students for swimming in high school or a similar club team.

Swim Lessons

Q. Do I need to pay when I sign up or can I pay on the first day of class?
A. In order to reserve your spot, payment is due at the time of sign up. If payment is not made during registration, you will be placed on the waiting list. If the class fills up before you make a payment for your lessons, you may need to find a class with open slots at a different time.

Q. Do I need to get in the water with my child?
A. If your child is under the age of three and has never done swim lessons before, we offer a parent child swim class in which the parent does get in the water with the child. If the child is over the age of three, they are placed in a class with an instructor and other children who have the same skills, and the parent does not need to be in the water.

Q. My child can swim, but I don’t know which level to put him or her in?
A. The swim levels are posted on our website with the corresponding skills taught in that level. If your child can do the skills listed in a particular level, then they should be placed in the next level up. If you’re unsure, give us a call! Any of our instructing staff can place students in the appropriate level.

Q. How do I know my child is in the correct swim class level?
A. The first day of class is designed to assess the skills of the children in the class. If we think your child would benefit more from a different class, the Aquatics Director will notify you after the first day and your child will be placed in the class they will be most successful in.

Q. How big are your classes?
A. The maximum number of students to one instructor is 5. For Angelfish and Swim Team, the maximum number of students to one instructor is 12.

Q. This session has already started; can I still sign my child up?
A. Yes, if there is a class with open space, we will gladly accept sign-ups after the session has started.

Q. Can I request that a class be offered at a specific time?
A. Yes, you may request a class if you have a specific time that you would like a class to be offered. The Aquatics Director does his or her best to schedule the class at the times requested, but if due to availability, the class cannot be scheduled when requested, it will be offered within 30 minutes of the requested time (either 30 minutes before or 30 minutes after the time requested).

Q. When are your swim lessons?
A. Our swim lessons are Tuesdays and Thursdays and usually run in 4-week sessions of 8 lessons. We have morning (10-12), afternoon (3:30-5:30), and evening (6:00-8:00) times so you can come when it’s most convenient for you. Classes are 30 minutes long and begin every half hour.

Q. Do you have swim lessons on other days of the week besides Tuesdays and Thursdays?
A. We do not. Our swim lessons are only on Tuesdays and Thursdays as of right now. However, private swim lessons can be scheduled at any time throughout the week (as long as the pool is not in use for another program or class)."

Q. Can I just sign up for one day a week (Tuesday OR Thursday)?
A. Yes. If we have spots available in a class, you may sign up for just one day a week and pay a per class rate. The price per class for non-members is $9, for children of members is $8, and for members is $7.

Q. Do you prorate the price if I miss a class?
A. We are able to pro-rate lessons if you know about the absence at the time of registration! The pro-rated cost is $9/lesson for non-members, $8/lesson for children of members, and $7/lesson for members. However, if you do not tell us about the absence at the time of registration, or if your student gets sick and is not able to make it to their lesson, we are not able to provide a refund.

Q. Where can I find a schedule of the classes offered?
A. We post schedules for swim lessons on our website on a monthly basis! Want to keep updated without having to check the website? Just email the Aquatics Director at and ask to be put on our email list! We send out an email blast once a month with the new schedule.

Q. When will the Aquatics Director be in the club so I can talk to him or her?
A. The Aquatics Director’s hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays 10am-12pm, and 3pm-8pm. You can reach him or her during these times or leave a voicemail message if he or she is not available. The aquatics voicemail is checked multiple times a week and your call will be returned promptly. You can also feel free to email at at any time.

Q. Do you offer private swim lessons?
A. Yes, we offer private swim lessons at a rate of $25 per half hour for non-members and $20 per half hour for members. We can also offer semi-private or group private lessons! Just give us a call at (360) 676-1800 to submit a private lesson request.

Q. When are the times I can schedule a private swim lesson?
A. Private swim lesson times are Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 3-5 and 7-8:30; Saturday from 10:30-12, 3-5, and 6-8:30; and Sunday from 1-2, 3-5, and 6-8:30. However, private lessons can be scheduled at any time that the instructor is available and there are no other conflicting activities in the pool.

Q. I need to cancel or reschedule my private lesson, how do I get a hold of the instructor?
A. Instructors will schedule private lessons with you individually, so they will give you their contact information when they call you to schedule. If you do not have the instructor’s contact information, please email ( or call the front desk and they will notify the instructor for you. NOTE: The front desk CANNOT give out instructor’s contact information for any reason.

Q. The class I want to sign up for is full, will another class be opened?
A. If we are able to staff an additional class and there are two or more people on the waiting list, we will open up another class for that time.

Q. I put in a private swim lesson request and I have not heard back yet.
A. Private swim lessons are scheduled based on the instructor’s availabilities. The Aquatics Director has to find an instructor who is available during the requested time, which may take a week or two. If it has been more than two weeks, the Aquatics Director will call you with an update.

Q. How big is your pool?
A. Our pool is 50 feet long and 30 feet wide. The shallowest point is 3 feet and the deepest point is 4 feet.

Q. What is the temperature of your pool?
A. We keep our pool between 84 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Swim Team

Q. Who can join swim team?
A. BAC accepts any swimmer who passes the tryout test, or swimmers who have successfully completed manatee skills. This is an introductory swim team where students will learn to view swimming as a sport, rather than fun activity. They will learn the official USA swimming rules & standards, stroke improvement, flip turns, starts, time clock and many other necessary swimming skills.

Q. What are the pre-requisites?
A. Tryout Test: Swimmers must complete at least 3 lengths of each stroke (freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly), complete at least 1 flip turn on stomach & back, swimmers must be able to complete 12 lengths of freestyle or backstroke, and demonstrate basic knowledge of swimming skills (ex floats, glides, side breathing, treading water, etc). All ages are welcome, as this is a skill based program aimed at education and fun! OR Swimmers who have completed the “Manatee” level of our learn-to-swim program and can demonstrate those skills.

Q. When can my student take the tryout test?
A. Tryout testing will take place during regular swim team time, from 5:30-6:30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Or make arrangements with the aquatics director via email (

Q. How much does swim team cost?
A. Swim team will cost $65/month for non-members, $60/month for child of member, $55/month for members.

Q. How many times per week will swim team run?
A. Since our program is young, we will be running on Tuesday and Thursday nights only. However, as we pick up momentum, we will be looking to expand our program. Stay tuned!

Q. What time is swim team practice?
A. Swim team will run from 5:30-6:30pm on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Q. Is it competitive?
A. Our program is currently aimed at an introduction to swimming as a sport. In this respect, we will be training our swimmers to compete. At this point, the focus will be on learning competitive swimming skills. Additional questions, contact

Aqua Aerobics

by BAC Staff on May 19, 2019

Come experience all the benefits the water can provide in this guided 45-minute music filled balance, cardiovascular, and muscle strength building class. Low impact so it’s easy on the joints but provides resistance to the working muscle for an overall body benefit. Because it’s water, you can work as hard or as easy as you are able so it is appropriate for people of all physical abilities and levels. Check Pool Schedule for days/times.

Categories: *Current News & Events, Active Aging, Aquatics, Classes

Pool Rental

by BAC Staff on May 16, 2019

The pool will be rented out from 1:00 – 2:00 pm on May 21 & 28. Sorry, no lanes will be available during that time.

Categories: *Current News & Events, Aquatics

Reap the Performance Benefits of the 4-Scientific Properties of Water!

by BAC Staff on May 15, 2019

There are a variety of exercise modalities that can have a pronounced impact on your level of physical activity. Using a Water environment is one such modality due to its’ scientific properties. The specific properties that lend themselves to increased performance are:

• Buoyancy (body’s ability to float in water)

• Hydrostatic Pressure (pressure of water on the body)

• Viscosity (density of the water)

• Thermodynamics (temperature of the water)

How do these properties enhance physical activity performance?

• Upward lift of the water on the body or “buoyancy” reduces the effect of gravity on your body. Being submerged in chest-deep water decreases the effect of gravity by 60% whereas being submerged in neck-deep water reduces the effects by 90%. So what’s the benefit? Buoyancy means less impact on your joints which is especially important if you have joint issues or just would like to recover from gravity-based training.

• The pressure of the water, “Hydrostatic Pressure”, is exerted on all the surfaces on the body. This multi-directional pressure compresses the chest making breathing more difficult but with training, the muscular mechanisms of breathing do improve. Water pressure “massages” the body assisting with circulation so the heart does not have to work as hard to pump blood throughout the working body. The Lymphatic system also benefits from the “massaging” pressure assisting the bodies “garbage carriers”!

• Waters density or “Viscosity is approximately 800 times denser than air! Why is that a benefit? Because of its’ density, any movement in the water provides resistance in a multitude of directions. Increasing the speed of movement and/or the surface area of the movement can exponentially increase the resistance to the movement!

• Water transfers heat, “Thermodynamics”, away from the body 25 times faster than air! This affects the heart rate and oxygen consumption rate during activity. Cooler temperatures, 64.4-77 F degrees Fahrenheit, result in lower heart rates than do warmer temperatures, 86-95.9 F degrees Fahrenheit. For that reason, it is advisable to use Ratings of Perceived Effort (either 1-10 scale or 6-25 scale) instead of Heart Rate.

The contribution of these scientific properties of water allow us an exercise medium we can safely use to improve our Aerobic Endurance, Muscle Strength, Muscle Mobility and Flexibility, allow for graded progressive exercise as well as lessen the daily impact of gravity, giving the body some needed recovery!

Make a splash in your physical activity by giving Water Fitness a try!!

Categories: Aquatics

Active Aging…Commit to stay fit in May!

by BAC Staff on May 1, 2019

Bellingham Athletic Club offers a wide range of exercise and aquatics classes. During the month of May, we will be highlighting specific exercise and aquatic classes designed for adults who want to continue enjoying an active and spirited lifestyle. Join us and experience the difference!!!

May 5-11

Zumba Gold…Cordata with Celine

This class takes the popular Latin dance-inspired workout of Zumba and makes it accessible for seniors, beginners or others needing modifications in their exercise routine. Zumba Gold builds cardiovascular health by challenging the heart and working the muscles of the hips, legs, and arms with dance moves. Wednesdays @ 8:30 am in the Cordata Gym.

RetroFit…Cordata with Theresa/Lesley

A moderate-paced, low-impact class designed for people who are comfortable with basic choreography. Focus is on simple movements. This is a great starting class for all ages, beginners, and members coming back from rehab injuries. Mondays @ 8:30 in the Cordata Gym.

May 12-18

Strong & Stable…Downtown and Cordata with Lesley

Every class features exercises that increase balance, mobility, and strength in order for you to continue enjoying an active and fulfilling lifestyle. Mondays & Wednesdays @ 8:30 am Downtown. Fridays @ 8:30 in the Cordata Gym.

Strength & Stretch…Downtown with Lesley

This class is for any fitness level. The focus is on a combination of body weight exercises, bands, and other tools to challenge your strength and full body stretching to complement your training program. Tuesdays @ 8:30 am Downtown.

May 19-25

Aqua Aerobics / Aqua Zumba…Cordata with Jill/Toni/Carrie/Cindy/Myra/Lynn/Gayle

Get a great cardio low-impact workout in the water! Great for all abilities and fitness levels. Looking for a water aerobics class with a twist? Try out Aqua Zumba! It is a fast-paced, body-toning water workout that combines the rhythm of a traditional Zumba class with the increased resistance in the pool. Check Pool Schedule for days/times.

May 26-31

Pilates/Yoga…Cordata with Jen/Michal/Freddie/Elena/Lesley

This class is designed to work your powerhouse muscles – abs, lower back, thighs, and buttocks. The discipline emphasizes correct form to help develop strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, coordination, balance, & good posture. Designed for all levels. Check Group Exercise Schedule for days/times

Categories: *Current News & Events, Active Aging, Aquatics, Classes, News

Swim Lessons

by BAC Staff on April 30, 2019

We are getting into the busy season for Swim Lessons, so make sure you take a look at the schedule and secure your spot for May early! We are offering a bigger variety of classes at different times –  we are still running the Angelfish II class in the mornings, so if you have a confident 2-year old, this is the class for you! You’ll also see more Starfish classes offered in the afternoon, for students who are ages 7+ and just starting out in lessons.

 Wondering what to bring to lessons? We don’t have too many requirements: If not potty trained, we do require a swim diaper in the water, as well as any kind of swim suit or swimming clothes and a towel to dry off and stay warm! Goggles are not required, but they are encouraged (especially for older levels where kids are swimming all the way across the pool). We do have a few pairs for general use, however we cannot guarantee goggle availability with so many lessons. So if you’ve got a picky swimmer, it might be a good idea to pick up some of your own. Also, students with hair at or longer than shoulder length should have their hair pulled back with a hair tie or swim cap. If you have any more questions about lessons, please reach out to me, I am happy to give advice and recommendations.


Swim Team can be a great opportunity for those swimmers who would like to spend more time in the water developing their skills and learning to think about swimming as a sport, rather than a leisure activity. If your student is interested, feel free to pop in and watch a practice to get an idea of the kinds of skills we develop! Swim Team runs from 5:30-6:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

May 7 – 30th (4 weeks/8 Lessons)

Days: Tuesdays & Thursdays
Times: 10am–12pm, 3:30pm–5:30pm, & 6:00pm-8:00pm

We offer adult groups lessons from 7:30 pm-8:00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as private lessons to meet your personal fitness goals.

Call (360) 676-1800 to sign up!

Press here for current Swim Lessons Schedule details and pricing.

Press here to go to the Aquatic Page.

Categories: *Current News & Events, Aquatics

View More Posts

Aquatics Bios - Brittany McIntosh
Brittany McIntosh
Aquatics Director

Favorite Stroke: Butterfly
About me: I’ve been a swimmer my whole life – My Mom likes to joke that her pre-natal water aerobics made me the swimmer I am today! I swam competitively for 10 years, and have been teaching for 11 years. I started working at BAC teaching and lifeguarding in 2014, and in 2016 I took on the role of Aquatics Director. I love all of the ways this position allows me to interact with students, parents, members and other instructors! There’s truly something magical about helping someone learn this important life skill. When I am not in the pool, you can find me in other departments at BAC, helping out in membership and front desk, as well as putting together our monthly newsletter. In my spare time, I can be found writing about and analyzing film, catching up over coffee with friends, or exploring all of the splendor that the northwest has to offer.   

Dakota Bernsten
Aquatics Instructor

Favorite stroke: Backstroke
About me: I have been swimming for twelve years, competitively for six. I’m seeking a degree at Western Washington University, where I am studying communications and journalism. I love to write, read, and play music, I’ve played the French horn for eight years!

Emily Chesterfield
Aquatics Instructor

Favorite stroke: It’s a tie between Backstroke and Butterfly
About me: I love the water. I did swim team growing up and am also a scuba diver! I enjoy heading to the beach when I’m not working. There’s nothing more beautiful than a Northwest sunset! I recently graduated with a degree in Anthropology from Western Washington University.

Shea Davis
Aquatics Instructor

Favorite Stroke: Butterfly
About me: I am studying pre-med at Western Washington University, with the goal of becoming a fetal surgeon. Before coming to BAC, I taught swim lessons for several years in my hometown, and found that I enjoy it a lot! Here’s a fun fact for you: I am the middle child of seven.

Victoria Welch
Aquatics Instructor

Favorite Stroke: Freestyle
About me: Prior to joining the team at BAC, I lifeguarded and taught swim lessons at home in Palouse, Washington for five years. Before that, I swam competitively! I moved up to Bellingham for school, but now I’m taking a year off. I love exploring Bellingham and finding the best restaurants to eat at.