“I used to be that girl who refused to step foot in a gym because I didn’t think I had the time to do all that was needed in order to be fit enough. If I joined a gym, it was just to meet people and run on an elliptical for 30 minutes and just go home. I couldn’t find my niche.
I met the man of my dreams after I hit 35. He was an avid kayaker and biker so I wanted to impress him and join his gym. There was a new class called Zumba on the schedule and I thought that dancing might be a fun way to work out. From the minute I stepped into the class, I knew this was for me. It was a quick and easy release from the world of working in a corporate insurance market and the craziness of taking care of my household. My instructor became my mentor and encouraged me to get licensed to teach, but at first I felt too old and too unworthy, but she continued to motivate me. I finally got licensed as a Zumba Instructor in 2012 at the age of 38.
When I teach, I feel free to dance my pants off. My students become my family immediately. We share stories, we laugh, we don’t judge each other. Zumba has helped me show my appreciation and love for people.
Recently, I was featured on the Harry Connick, Jr. show as a busy mom who shares a passion for fitness and changing people’s lives. It was a dream come true and I’m still pinching myself and saying, ‘I’m just a mommy like so many other mommies out there. It’s the hardest, most rewarding job in the world.’
I was a late bloomer in life. I got married at 38, had my first child at 40, and my second at 42. But I honestly feel like this is the start of my career, my life, and my family. I’ve learned that health is not about a number on a scale, but just feeling comfortable in the skin you are in. And I feel amazing every single day in the skin I live in. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.”
- Dana Kelly, licensed Zumba® Instructor; full-time mommy and instructor who wouldn’t have it any other way; recently featured on the Harry show for being so amazing
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