AquaBeba’s fully trained instructors teach kids from infants to toddlers to young children the fundamentals
of swimming in a safe and comfortable water environment. Our unique program allows babies and parents
to feel confident and secure in the watery world around them.
The AquaBeba Swim program is designed with one thing in mind, to share and introduce the beautiful world
of swimming from infancy into adulthood. This individualized program works with each child’s unique ability
and pace. Through fun and games AquaBeba teaches children to relax in the water while building respect
and awareness of it. It helps integrating a baby’s physical, social and emotional needs into a swimming lesson.
Pre-Condition baby for submersion, by teaching them to respond (hold their breath) to verbal triggers
Teaches baby to swim without the assistance of flotation devices
Encourages baby to be independent in and around water at the earliest possible age
Teaches baby safety skills that may one day save their life
Owner Danilo Krvavac qualified for the 2000 Olympic swim team representing his homeland, Serbia. He was
a numerous time Serbian record holder in 50m, 100m and 200m back stroke. He was also chosen as the 1995
Best Serbian Youth Athlete. One of his records was just broken after 14 years. Danilo’s passion for teaching
swimming to babies and children began while teaching children in Europe. After the birth of his daughter
Penelope, Danilo decided to open his own program in Williamsburg Brooklyn where he resides with his wife,
daughter and son.
What Are They Saying About Aquabeba Swim
"Dear Heidi and Danilo and everyone at Aquabeba, I just wanted to let you know how cool it is for me to see Augustine developing his locomotive skills in conjunction with/and due to the swim classes. The one where the baby must do elbow, elbow, belly, knee, knee, I think has helped him learn how to climb over the couch arm...(which of course has its disadvantages, but still :) And as always, your staff is really helpful when I'm there on my own. So thank you!"
- Nina and Augustine
"Even in the two weeks we have been in class, it has been fun to watch Asher learn about swimming. The first week he would do almost nothing other than cling to me tightly with all four limbs except to chew on one of the pool toys. The second week he was already happier, splashing around his arms and legs and giggling at the other babies. Also, now when he gets excited he kicks his legs just like in the pool - while on swings or when we lift him up in the air. Pretty amazing. You guys are great!"
- Thanks very much, Kelly Brook
"My husband my son and I all LOVE your swim classes. The location is beautiful and serene and the instructors are top notch, caring, nurturing and calming. We have told many friends about it!"
- Jill Walton
Class Action: Aquabeba
Get Your Swim On During Pregnancy
By Kaity Velez
With a yoga studio on every other block, it’s no wonder that prenatal yoga classes are as popular as they are. And while I loved the one I regularly took, I always kept my ears open for prenatal classes that offered more of a cardio workout without much luck. Having done a sprint-tri the summer before I became pregnant, I really hoped I would find a class that would involve my renewed love for water. Plus, the bigger my belly got, the less I ran (because my hips wouldn’t have it), and the more scared I became to ride my bike in the city. While I didn’t find out about Aquabeba until I took my son for his first swim lesson at six-months-old (which I highly recommend!), I was so excited to learn that there’s a class for expectant mamas. Prenatal swim instructor, co-owner of Aquabeba, and mother of two Heidi Reiss tells us more about how this cardio workout balances all the yoga you’ve been up to.
What makes swimming especially beneficial during pregnancy?
From the first step into the water, there is no doubting the beneficial effects swimming has on a pregnancy.
The instant relief is so noticeable, everyone becomes almost giddy. We target people who have muscle pain
or cannot move freely, or just the active woman who wants to maintain a workout regime during pregnancy.
We do a pretty solid workout that helps boost energy and stretch out muscles. The water allows for the moms-
to-be to exercise freely without any concern of injury. The zero gravity also relieves the pressure on the body
that most women experience during pregnancy. And the more in shape you remain during your pregnancy,
the easier it is to bounce back after your baby arrives.
How long has Aquabeba offered prenatal classes?
We started to offer them about 2.5 years ago. When I was pregnant with our daughter (before opening
Aquabeba) I would go swimming with my husband at a public pool. I always found it freezing, and when I was
further along, people swimming by me would accidentally kick me or come way too close to my belly, so I
stopped. After opening Aquabeba, I would see how much pregnant women (on baby #2) would enjoy the
water while swimming with their children, and we decided to add the classes. We mainly offer them to create
a safe environment for pregnant women to swim freely.
I understand you teach in saltwater pools. How is that superior to swimming in chlorine?
Our Olive Park location is a salt water pool, and our Viridian location is a chlorine pool. We converted the Olive Park location so that we can offer a gentler environment for our Infant Swim classes. We feel that the more you can avoid adding chemicals, the better. That said our Viridian location has the lowest possible levels of chlorine and is quite mild. We are even more focused on water temperature. Both of our pools have warm temperatures to ensure a soothing, comfortable swim experience.
What elements to do you focus on in your classes?
We focus on stretching and flexibility to start, then we go right into a pretty solid cardio workout using a combination of water running and swimming. We incorporate weights and resistance training towards the end, and follow up with a final stretch. We always offer a harder version and a gentler version of whatever we are doing.
We stress how important it is to work at your own pace and be conscious of what your body is going through.
Does swimming help prepare for labor in any way?
We feel like it does. We do a lot of exercises that strengthen your core muscles, which will definitely give you a boost during your delivery. We also focus on a lot of hip-opening exercises to help stretch out muscles and joints that have become stiff and tight.
What are some fitness tips you give your mamas-to-be during class?
I try to keep the moms-to-be motivated and on track. As a mother of two, I understand how hard and frustrating it can be to stay active while pregnant. I was thrilled to be able to get a really good workout in while pregnant with my second. We all speak about different things that they are going through. In the beginning of class, I ask how everyone is feeling, if they have any new discomfort, and offer advice on what they can try safely at home to help. I also recommend different foods that might bring relief. We try and be both a workout class and a support group in one.
Do you see a lot of the same moms who took prenatal classes come back with their babies?
I would say that we have at least 75-85 percent of the moms return with their little ones. I have a few moms that I taught prenatal classes to that now have 2.5-year-old toddlers enrolled with us. It is really amazing for us to know they have been swimming with us since they were in their mother’s bellies!
Once mama has had her little one, how early on can she bring him/her to a class?
We start our infant classes at 4 months old. The Starfish is one of our best classes!
Ready, Set, Submerge!
By Lizette Borreli
This past Saturday, January 5th, the Olive Park Condo pool (100 Maspeth Avenue) was the site for AquaBeba’s 2013 grand opening. Infants as young as four months splashed with chaperones through 40-minute swimming lessons in the recently converted salt water, 25-foot, 89 degree pool.
AquaBeba, formerly known as AquaDanilo, started when co-owners Danilo Krvavac and Heidi Reiss taught their 4-year-old daughter, Penelope, how to swim. Noting the lack of heated pools in Williamsburg/Greenpoint and the absence of an infant swimming school, Krvavac used his prestigious swimming background to his advantage. The former Serbian 2000 Olympic swim team participant and recipient of the 1995 Best Serbian Youth Athlete award dived in head first with the local business.
Krvavac uses a highly personal approach at Aquabeba. “It’s not just a basic swim school,” said Krvavac, “We pay attention to the individual pace of each child.” The instructor, who taught Reiss and their children how to swim in 15 minutes, keeps a progress log of every client to cater to their individual needs, and follows the latest child development studies to revamp his methods.
Reiss affirmed that “no singing is done to the kids in the pool” and “no flotation devices are used.” The only
props visible on deck and on water are small toys, strategically placed to teach children how to elbow their
way from the water. In the pool, kids can emulate the figurines under parental supervision at all times.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, the young clientele gets in the water by the end of their first lesson. “We
find children interact better with each other” said Reiss about Aquabeba’s aged-based programs. There are
eight kids, each with one parent or guardian, to a class with two instructors, one being Krvavac. He rotates
with each child to teach them individually at their own pace.
The first program is the Infant Wellness Swimming (4 – 18 months old), with three levels, Starfish (4 – 12
months), Penguins (6 – 18 months) and Turtles (8 – 18 months). If a child is between 11-12 months old, he
or she must take one Starfish class prior to Penguins enrollment. The second program is the Toddler Basic
Swim (18 months – 4 years old), with two levels, Sea Horses (18 months – 3 years old) and Sea Lions (2 – 4
years old). In the Sea Lions program, toddlers must have completed the Sea Horses level first. Lastly, the
Learn to Swim program (5+ years old) teaches students how to master basic swimming skills. Prenatal
swimming classes are also offered throughout the year with 4 to 6 women per class ranging from 12 to
On average, AquaBeba has 120 to 150 kids enrolled per session (a 5-week program), with 200 new enrollment spots filled every year. In every session, at least three Starfish classes are filled to capacity or 24 infants.
The majority of AquaBeba’s clients range from four months to two and a half years old. Maggie Jonsdottir-Pei, has been enrolled in classes as early as four months old. Her mother, Crystal Pei, continues to enroll Maggie in swimming classes because “it’s a healthy environment” she said. Jonsdottir-Pei, of Icelandic descent, gets to embrace an element of her culture, albeit in a heated indoor swimming pool in Brooklyn. “Swimming is big in Iceland, and most of the pools are outdoors,” she explained.
In the cabana lounge that overlooks the pool, Reiss stressed the importance of the right pool temperature in their clients’ swimming performance. In comparison to
the Olive Park pool, Aquabeba’s other location at the Viridian (110 Green Street), is 87 degrees Fahrenheit. “Two degrees [Fahrenheit] can make a difference” said Reiss. Krvavac and Reiss have set the temperature of the pool and lounge to compliment each other and to eliminate the temperature drop often experienced by swimmers.
For these local business owners, AquaBeba was a way to “give service back to the [Williamsburg] community” where they reside with their children.
Aquabeba plans to set sail a kids water polo program in 2013. The program is currently in the developing stages for kids ages 6+.
Kids in the 'Hood
Things to do and places to go for families with babies
May 2012 / Wiilliamsburg Greenpoint News + Arts
By Shana Liebman
Williamsburg and Greenpoint's populations are getting younger–even the skinny 20-somethings look weathered compared to the growing population of 2- and 3-year-olds. So it's no surprise that the neighborhood has begun to accommodate the diaper-clad and their families.
If you're new to the area or new the life-with-little-ones, or just desperately need some family-friendly activities, support, or a used Ergo Carrierm here are some of your best , newest, local resources.
Places To Play
Williamsburg's Danilo Krvavac, who qualified for the 2000 Serbian Olympic swim team, decided to open Aquabeba when he had a baby of his own. Held at local condo pools in Williamsburg and Greenpoint, the small classes for infants and toddlers, teach swimming without devices, as well as water safety.
Owner & Instructor Danilo Krvavac with two new swimmers.