Dash has a masters degree from the University of Michigan and a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. She finished Top Five in her age-group in the World Masters Swimming Championships in 2006, in the US Masters Nationals in 2010 and the 2013 Master Pan Ams. She lives in Sarasota, Florida.

Melon (M. Ellen) Dash

Founder M. Ellen (Melon) Dash, a competitive swimmer all her life, left her job as an administrative assistant in Berkeley, CA in 1982, knowing there was something she was born to do.
A book asked her, “What activity that you love would you accept $100 to do?” The answer was,
1) coaching swimming and,
2) teaching adults who are afraid in water to swim.

As a graduate student she’d taught Beginning Swimming to undergrads in Keene, New Hampshire (1978). One day on the deck as a Red Cross instructor at KSC teaching a Beginning class to 20 undergraduates, she was stared at by no less than 10 students who were asking a question with their eyes that they couldn’t put into words: “Why are you telling me what to do with my arms and legs when I am afraid I might not live?” With their attention on survival, they could not focus on swimming skills.

She was teaching Beginning Swimming but it was too advanced for half the class.

A new teaching was required. A whole new system was required!

She asked the college administration if she could offer a new class. The administration, wanting to be helpful, advised that it would take too much red tape to change the undergraduate curriculum but if she taught a new class through the Adult Extension Program, the College would promote and students could take it. 

People came. It worked. They were ecstatic.

Five years later in 1983, she realized that no one was expert at helping adults who were afraid in water. She decided that this was her work. Transpersonal Swimming Institute opened two months later, May 1, 1983. The name later changed to Miracle Swimming for Adults. 

Since 1983, over 5000 students and 65 instructors have graduated from her programs. She produced a video, wrote a book, has spoken at numerous national and international events, hosted a 13-episode radio program –The Learn to Swim Show, appeared in the New York Times and USA Today and in dozens of other newspapers, television and radio programs, and has set a goal of reducing preventable drowning to zero by teaching every swimming instructor how to teach afraid adults; and every adult to be confident in deep water.