Dive: Rituals in Water

What a lovely way to start of your day, with Dive: Rituals in Water. It is a documentary about Snorri, an Icelandic swimming instructor. He started out teaching adults with developmental and co-ordination challenges, and then went on to open the nation’s first baby swim class.

What he learnt was just fascinating, teaching babies a few months old to dive and swim and stand up. I mean, it sounds unreal, but apparently before a baby learns to walk, they will still automatically hold their breath when underwater. The first time you see it, it is quite startling, and my first instinct is always to panic, but he really knows what he’s doing and pays such close attention to the body language of the wee ones.

Once they learnt to swim and dive, he can lift them out the water, and they will lock their knees, standing upright on his hands from the age of 4 months. It’s just extraordinary.

The swim class is also full of music, rhymes, and stories told in songs. It is a full workout for their little brains, learning rhythm, communication, interaction, co-ordination, balance and movement.

The film is really good at bringing you right down to the babies’ level and showing their little faces as they figure things out, grow in confidence in their dives, and trust their parents as they introduce them to these new things. You see each of their wee personalities shine through. Just a lovely documentary.