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New to Rowing? Try our Learn to Row Program


Come learn to row with DC Strokes! Get an introduction to the team sport of rowing while meeting new friends and enjoying the cityscape from a new perspective.

DC Strokes offers a gay-friendly environment and a welcoming community for all. The Learn to Row Program (LTR) is designed for people with no previous rowing experience and teaches the basics from square one. All learn to row sessions include: land training on ergometers, rowing on the water using a training barge and an eight-person rowing shell, personal attention from coaches to help you develop your form and rowing skills, and a question-and-answer session, as well as a review of lessons learned, at the conclusion of each day's class. Student-to-instructor ratios are 12 to 1 or better to ensure good interaction with coaches.
If you have prior rowing experience, even if it was a while ago, you may be able to go straight to the Novice Program or even one of our more advanced programs. Please contact us at prior to registering for LTR.

DC Strokes offers rowing programs for all levels and interests. In June, rowers who complete LTR are invited to join the Novice Program, which offers opportunities to continue developing rowing skill, build fitness and strength, and try racing at a couple of local regattas.

LTR Lead Coach: Elisabeth Fondriest
Assistant Coach: TBD

What you will learn:
  • Fundamentals of the rowing stroke and body mechanics
  • Rowing and equipment terminology
  • Correct use of rowing machines, known as ergometers
  • How to set a boat and establish correct timing
  • Oar blade techniques, including feathering
  • Boat safety

The learn to row course has two parts and lasts approximately 7 weeks (with a break between parts I and II): Part I is 4 weeks, starting around the last weekend in April; Part II begins right after Memorial Day and lasts roughly 2 weeks.

Part I: Offered in two formats: five 3-hour classes on weekends (mainly Sundays) or eight 2-hour classes on weeknights (Mon/Wed or Tue/Thu). 

Session A:
Weekends 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. April 29, 30, May 7, 14, and 21

Session B:
Weekends 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. April 29, 30, May 7, 14, and 21

Session C:
Mon/Wed 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. May 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, and 24

Session D:
Tue/Thu 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. May 2, 4, 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25

Part II:
Classes are held Monday to Thursday, from 6:15-7:45pm (total of seven classes available) Tuesday, May 30 - June 8. You are free to choose which nights you come although a minimum of two nights per week is recommended. All should plan to attend the first meeting on May 30.  At this conclusion of this session you will have the option of moving on to the Novice Program, which begins Monday, June 12.  

All Learn to Row sessions are located at the Anacostia Community Boathouse:  
1900 M St SE
Washington, DC 20003


Photo by Monica Pilsch

Ready to Sign Up?


Choose your session

  • Session A: Weekends/ Morning
    Closed- Waitlist Only

  • Session B: Weekends/ Afternoon
    Closed- Waitlist Only

  • Session C: Mon/ Wed
    Closed- Waitlist Only

  • Session D: Tues/ Thurs

We will consider making an expanded session if we can get critical mass (we need 8 to sign up). Please email with the subject line "waitlist." In it, please rank all four sessions in preference order, but note if you have conflicts that would preclude full participation in a given session.

$250 per session.  Payable by personal check, credit or debit card.

  • Please note that you do not need to be a member of DC Strokes to sign up for LTR
  • Student Discounts are available
  • Once the class begins, no refund is available


Please contact us at prior to registering for LTR.