Mirror Learning Webinar

With Hugo Lavalle, Acquarella, Italy. Co-hosted by STA and Birthlight

How do babies pattern their movements in water long before they can follow instructions or even stories that captivate their imagination? Babies grow their brains and their sense of self through movement in interactive, ideally loving, relationships with those who care for them. But how does this interaction work? why is water a great medium for parents and babies to “attune” to each other?

birthlight baby swimming

During the long lockdown, Hugo Lavalle has researched how the theory of mirror neurons, first developed by Italian researchers, illuminates early aquatic education. Although this theory has been contested by some neuroscientists, it continues to be immensely stimulating. Mirror neurons provide threads to better understand how and why, as baby swimming teachers, we need to move away from conditioning methods and support babies’ innate pathways to learning.

Originally trained as a Physical Education teacher in Argentina in the 1980s, Hugo became acquainted with the psychomotricity approach to early years aquatic education with Dra Patricia Cirigliano in Buenos Aires. Patricia hosted the 6th World Aquatic Babies Congress in 2001. This was Birthlight’s first international presentation. It was exhilarating to meet Latin American pioneers who saw water as a developmental matrix, simultaneously sensory, motor and cognitive, for babies-families together. Hugo went on to study at Turin university in Italy and refined his own creative approach to ‘water activities’ over twenty years of teaching experience in his Turin swim school Acquarella. Hugo’s uniquely fun but solid, well researched work has been acclaimed at many international conferences. At our Birthlight 2016 Light on Water International Conference in Cambridge UK, Hugo and his wife Serenella conveyed their passion for understanding and responding to the curiosity of babies and small children in water.

Hugo has developed an unmissable 3-part webinar combining theory and practice in a thorough, well-structured and lively presentation: 7,14 and 28 June evenings (London time) livestream, also available online for those who cannot join in. This reasonably costed webinar (£35) carries CPD points for both STA and Birthlight members. This webinar is of interest not only to baby swimming teachers but also to baby yoga teachers.

Book Your Place!

Webinar: Hugo Lavalle – Acquarella Swim School (Italy)

7, 14, 28th June 2021 7pm – 9:30pm


Hugo Lavalle

Water Activities Teacher, Researcher, Speaker at International Conferences