Chelsea woman hooked on Zumba

Published 11:01 am Monday, September 24, 2012

Back from left, Kathy Barker and Callahan. Front from left, Stacey Holland, Martha Coffee and Toni Barker. (Contributed)

By SHELBA NIVENS / Community Columnist

Her three boys, ages 7, 8 and 10, help keep her motivated, said Shea Callahan.

And Zumba helps her stay in shape so she can keep up with them, plus drive a school bus for two Chelsea schools, work part-time at the YMCA in Inverness, work as a certified Zumba instructor and be active in her church. She also does inspirational writing in her “spare time.” (Do you wonder like I do, where she finds it?)

Zumba also helps her deal with two chronic health problems.

After the birth of her second child, she “struggled with weight gain even after following strict dietary guidelines and excessive fitness workouts,” she said.

Then, a couple years later she was diagnosed with “metabolic syndrome and polycystic ovarian syndrome, both of which make it more difficult than the average person to maintain and lose weight,” she said. “In other words, my body’s ability to burn food as energy was non-existent.”

But after eight months of Zumba, she lost 45 pounds, she said.

She has always had a passion for dance, said Callahan, and got hooked on Zumba (Latin inspired dance) around 10 years ago after watching an infomercial about it and ordering a video to try it.

Seeing how much it helped her, her desire to help others kicked in and she decided to take instruction to become certified as a Zumba fitness instructor.

Zumba is a healthy way to help “take care of the body God has given us,” she said, a good way to keep in shape without feeling like you’re in a “dreaded workout routine. It’s a great way to unwind and release stress.”

She “loves watching ladies succeed in weight loss or a higher level of fitness,” Shea said. “But just laughing and having fun during class is motivation enough to be there.”

Shea holds Zumba classes at Chelsea Community Church on Monday and Wednesday mornings at 9 a.m.. She also offers private Zumba parties at clients’ locations.

For more information Email her at


Shelba Nivens can be reached by email at