Getting to Know SwimWest Swim Instructor Nikki Luhm

SwimWest Swim Instructor

Nikki Luhm and some of her students pose for a quick picture before class

Learning to swim should be fun! Your child’s swim instructor is an essential part of creating that fun while teaching lifesaving skills and confidence in the water. At SwimWest we value what each of our instructors brings to their classes and their students. This month we sat down with Nikki Luhm, one of our senior instructors to learn a little bit more about her and her teaching style.

Nikki was born and raised in Milwaukee. She studied and graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a degree in early education. She’s lived in the Madison area for almost seven years now. She has two younger siblings – a brother and a sister.  Family means the world to her and one of the reasons she was drawn to the SwimWest culture. She jokes that she considers herself a mermaid and has always loved being around the water. “Actually,” she said. “If you really know me that is no surprise at all!” Read on to discover just a bit more about SwimWest’s own “mermaid” and beloved instructor, Miss Nikki.

What is one thing that people might be surprised to know about you? 

Often people are surprised at how loud I can be while teaching. Outside of the pool, I am a rather quiet person, but in the water, with the kids, I have a totally different personality.  I have a lot of energy and just as much patience, encouragement and understanding.

Why did you decide to work for SwimWest?

I have a strong passion and respect for the water, and it brings me so much joy sharing my love for it with my students every day.  It is important for everyone to know how to be safe in and around the water so they have the opportunity to truly embrace and experience what the water can do for them without fear holding them back.  Because of that, I decided to work at SwimWest, and I am so glad I did!

What do you like the most about teaching children how to swim?

Building connections with my swimmers and their families are one of my favorite things about teaching. It’s so rewarding to watch my swimmers grow and accomplish things they never thought they could.  Celebrating their progress with them whether it be big or small is one of the most amazing feelings in the world.

What is your best experience as a swim instructor?

The best experience as an instructor for me is when I am teaching a swimmer who has the same amount of passion for swimming as I do.  A few times a year, I will organize achievement meets for our upper-level swimmers. It’s thrilling to watch them compete and discover what they are capable of.

What is your funniest experience as a swim instructor?

There are so many!  Watching my little swimmers practice their monkey cheeks to hold their breath is always super cute!

What makes your class uniquely yours?

I end each lesson with a splash five!  It’s like a high five but under the water. All of my swimmers, young and old, love them and most won’t leave until they get one!

What is your favorite past time outside of swimming?  

I like skiing, yoga, picnics, camping and spending time with my family and friends all while making memories.

SwimWest congratulates Nikki on her years of instructing and the incredible energy she brings to our school. Currently, Nikki has joined several other members of the SwimWest management team on a humanitarian mission to bring needed supplies to the people of Roatán, Honduras.  The group left on the 20th and will be home on the 27th of April.