Where it all began.

The Swim'n'Swing method was created in Sardinia in 1998 by Dario Masala who had the "simple, yet brilliant" idea that “swimming is rhythm”. Dario’s idea was to use the “perfect” rhythmic patterns generated by Olympic swimmers to then guide and improve the strokes and movements of everyone willing to learn.

The first pilot studies adopting this method involved individuals with motor disabilities. One of our “champions” is Luigi. After a dramatic accident, Luigi suffered a severe paralysis of the upper body and was able to move only the right arm. When he joined our program, Luigi did not know how to swim and learned to do so following the Swim'n'Swing method. Thanks to his hard work and perseverance, Luigi learned to play the drum while acquiring swimming skills and moving his body following the rhythms of Filippo Magnini played on the pool deck. In just a few years, he joined the paralympic swim team and in 2018 Luigi won the bronze medal at the National Paralympic Swimming Championships in Brescia (Italy). The Swim’n’Swing team was in the bleachers, cheering for him and crying of joy.

These first impressive achievements attracted the attention of biomechanist Stefano Nurra. In September 2019, Stefano proposed a challenge to Dario: “Can you transform any biomechanical swimming tracks into music?”. Dario, to the surprise of Stefano, indeed created beautiful songs, one for each stroke of multiple Olympic champions, therefore demonstrating that swimming precisely follows rhythmic patterns. The rest is now history.

At present, the Swim’n’Swing team creates personalized rhythms reflecting the motor patterns of each participant. These rhythms are then modified and guided toward improved and refined rhythms inspired by the Olympic swimmers. The subjects choose an instrument - either the bass or the drum-, play the rhythms of motor patterns and finally they swim them. During the training, there is an evolution of the musical and athletic performance, starting with following their own rhythm to finishing with the one of the champions. The method can be applied to competitive swimmers, amatours and children, adolescents, and adults with motor or intellectual disabilities.

The most important goal: social inclusion and personalized treatment.

The success of the Swim'n'Swing method rests not just on the combination of rhythms and swimming but also on social inclusion and emotional well-being. Our participants, independently from their physical and psychological abilities, are emotionally engaged while developing a passion for swimming and music. To do so, everybody plays an active role in their training: each individual is not just a passive recipient of an intervention, but rather the driver of its implementation and success. They are not alone but an essential element of the team.

Another key aspect of our method is the personalization of the treatment: rhythmic patterns and songs are chosen on the basis of the unique needs, motor characteristics, musical tastes and personality of the recipient. Every intervention, indeed, begins with an accurate study of these aspects and it is tailored to the individual.

We swim what we play.

Driven by these fundamental principles, the Swim'n'Swing method was implemented, choosing the aquatic environment as the perfect setting to combine rhythm, movement, and interpersonal relationships. On these principles lie the strength and originality of our method, providing holistic experience for mind and body.

The Swim'n'Swing steps:
  • The initial step is represented by rhythmic education. First we assess the individual’s perception and production of rhythms. This is achieved by the monitoring of the movement of one’s own body or the use of musical instruments. By regular practices, each subject practices specific rhythms and increases his/her own ability to produce rhythmic patterns that will then be swam. These exercises continue throughout the whole intervention providing muscle memory.
  • The second stage consists in an assessment of the individual’s aquatic and swimming ability. During this time, we begin creating personalized music following the motor patterns of the individual.
  • Familiarization of the participants with their rhythms by playing on the pool deck, followed immediately by swimming.
  • Together these exercises promote a gradual and steady improvement of rhythmic sensitivity and the acquisition of new rhythms and more refined motor patterns. Both the music and aquatic sessions are held in group settings, hence promoting emotional connections, friendships, and wellbeing.