The Joy of Teaching Dance to Seniors

Seeing seniors happy and laughing like this – is why I do the work I do. I believe I have the best career in the world. I teach people how to free up their bodies and their minds with Dance, Diet and Nutrition, Massage Therapy and Reiki Healing. I help people live a healthier, longer and happier life. I teach dance to active seniors, as well as to adults who rely on a walker and seniors who are confined to a wheelchair.

As seniors, we’ve lived through a great deal of challenges to get where we are today- many joys and celebrations, many losses and changes. We deserve to live the rest of our lives with inner peace, in good health, with much joy and happiness being physically, mentally and spiritually free. I believe that dancing as a ‘moving meditation’ is one of the ways we can achieve these goals.

I truly love my career because people are happy when they see me, happy when they’re dancing with me, happy and very relaxed as they take their serenity back home. I am a Wellness Coach and under that umbrella I am also a Dance Therapist. I teach people to dance by themselves and for themselves, while dancing with the group.

I teach dance as a moving meditation.

Did you know that when we dance, we stimulate the release of hormones such as ‘Endorphins’, hormones produced in the brain  known as ‘happy hormones’. Endorphins are increased when we dance and produce a feeling of euphoria. Another hormone called ‘cortisol’ is reduced when we dance. ‘Cortisol’ comes from our adrenal glands and increases when experiencing stress, anxiety or depression. That’s not a good thing if we  experience daily stress. We need to preserve ‘cortisol’ for those times that we need extra energy, when faced with a ‘dangerous situation’ to help us fight or flight. However, most of us humans seem to be in that state of ’emergency’ too often (driving in traffic, too much caffeine, being late for work, deadlines, relocation, illness, divorce) . We deplete our adrenals resulting in being tired all the time even when we sleep 8hrs. Dancing helps to restore balance.

Dancing helps our joints to stay flexible and limber. Dancing is fun; we sweat and detoxify; we laugh; we socialize and dancing inhibits the release of ‘cortisol’. We accomplish all this when we hear music, feel the different rhythms, feel the beat and move our bodies. Dancing keeps our bodies loose and limber and encourages us to engage in other sports and physical activities because we feel so good.

I primarily teach ZUMBA GOLD Fitness classes for active seniors and new Zumba Fitness dancers. I teach the steps and the moves at a slower pace, with much more instruction and a far less complicated Zumba Fitness style. I stand in the front row, I teach steps and people follow my lead.

It is so very important for us to continue to dance forever and yet, some people never dance, while others start and stop because they can’t pick up the steps as quickly as others. With this in mind plus 4 yrs of teaching Zumba Fitness classes in NY, FL and AZ,  I see dancing as a moving meditation.

Zumba Fitness begins slowly, becomes more vigorous and intense as it develops and finishes with quiet, gentle movements. A Zumba Gold Fitness class  usually lasts about 45-60min, then we take a break, have a drink, have a snack, talk about our experience

Dancing encourages people of all ages to dance together, letting go of blocks to dancing such as you think you don’t know how to dance or you think you have no rhythm or that you look awkward dancing. This is a place to safely and authentically dance “from the inside out” and connect with like-minded people.

Dancing has been around for thousands of years in many cultures. It is a cross-cultural phenomenon as cultures around the globe create dance rituals based on the animals and the elements of nature. The dance rituals are intended to enter a person’s consciousness and often they become the spirit of the sun, moon and various animal and plant life. Through these dance rituals, cultures believe that the spirits within nature could provide them with special powers such as courage, compassion and even insights into the future.

My Zumba Gold Fitness Classes are a unique blend of healing sounds, dynamic percussive rhythms and transformational breathing techniques.When combined together,Zumba Gold Fitness class brings you into a meditative state that can promote spiritual healing, mental clarity, physical stamina and emotional wellbeing. Driven by unique musical soundtracks recorded specifically for the dance, Zumba Gold Fitness can take dancers on an inner journey as well as physical and mental.

In some cultures, dance rituals were done primarily at night because darkness was a necessary ingredient to help participants focus on their inner experience or visions. Darkness brings up many feelings and thoughts, an altered state where there is no one there but  yourself. It is within this inner journey that we connect with spirit and become in touch with who we really are.

Some people sitting in a chair, like to do Zumba Gold class with eyes closed to prevent any distractions or visual stimulation so they can feel the music and the beat. Keeping your eyes closed also stimulates your inner vision to reveal hidden meanings and answers to many questions you may have. If you are not comfortable with your eyes closed, you can dance with your eyes open. Zumba Gold Fitness is safe, healing, sacred, fun, ecstatic, spiritual, meditative — and it’s a great workout.

By dancing in the dark, without watching and being watched, we dance for ourselves and for answers deep within ourselves. Through dancing we let go of any self-consciousness that stops us from being free and authentic and we become light like our spirit. With Zumba Gold Fitness class as a moving meditation we become less attached to our problems, making it possible at these moments to let these problems go. Our body is a vehicle to set this momentum in motion. It is not uncommon that spontaneous healing occurs during and after a session.

We may dance softly and gently and float as lightly as a feather in a nurturing dance; we may dance wildly and intensely and become the animal spirit that’s within us; we may dance like we all have been dancing for thousands of years. We give ourselves permission to experience and explore both masculine and feminine aspects of ourselves. We explore our sensual self and we dance with Mother Earth and Father Sky. We dance moving like the wind or floating like the water or burning like the fire. We may enter into a deep meditation and emerge with profound insights, inspirations, memories, visions or healings.

No prior experience is necessary! Join us in a safe, supportive environment for exploring and discovery. Breathe into your body as we move from the inside out moving with greater ease, flow. Deep within each of us is your dancer. Connect with your own personal style and creative expression. This is an opportunity to unfold the dancer deep within. Each of us has a special and unique way of being true movement. Remove the blocks that inhibit you from moving freely, loosely and become a healthier person.

  Purchase your Zumba Gold Fitness DVD set today









*People from all over the world have convinced me to help them duplicate my success in their own Health & Fitness business
*I have taken on the role of HEALTH & FITNESS BUSINESS CONSULTANT  to help people become SUCCESSFUL in their own business, whether you’re a group fitness instructor, massage therapist, health coach or public speaker.
*I have developed successful Health & Fitness businesses everywhere I’ve lived in the U.S. and became a very visible figure in a very short time
*I am one of the most well-known seniors in the Health & Fitness industry coast-to-coast
*I am no longer actively teaching Zumba Fitness classes and no longer a member of the ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network).
*If you are interested in becoming a SUCCESSFUL fitness instructor, massage therapist, health coach or public speaker, part-time or full time, and want to become well-known in your field AND paid top dollar, I am available to coach you in that direction.
*I coach YOU, by appointment only, by phone, email and/or internet and my fees are paid by Paypal.
*Anyone can become certified or licensed ( but not everyone can become WELL-KNOWN AND SUCCESSFUL in your own business.


(9am-8pm,daylight savings time, NY)





14 thoughts on “The Joy of Teaching Dance to Seniors

    • Hi, Go to and see links across the top of the page. Click on FIND A CLASS, put in your zipcose and Voila, you’ll find a list of who’s teaching where and when. Good luck, Shellie

    • Hi Fran, Thanks for your interest in Zumba Gold. If you go to, pull down the link, find a class, put in your zip code, and you’ll see what’s going on in Seattle. I don’t know how many instructors teach the way I do. Let me know if I can be of further help. Zumba Blessings, Shellie

  1. I’m 66 years young. Physically active, have a degree in nutrition, am a piano player and composer and love to dance. I would love to learn where I could train and certify to become a dance teacher for seniors. I think what you are doing is fantastic. May I ask how long you have been doing this and what your age is?



    • Hi Susan,

      Sorry it took me so long to answer your post. I didn’t receive it until today, Aug 5, 2010. I guess it got lost in transit. To answer your questions, go to and see links across the top, INSTRUCTOR TRAINING. Click on that and you’ll see a list of classes that you can take to become Certified. I am Certified in Zumba Basic, Advanced, Gold for Seniors, ZumbAtomic for kids and recently became Certified in Aqua Zumba, so I can teach Zumba in the water.

      I’ve been teaching for 5yrs and I’m 71 and going strong. As long as I’m dancing, I’m happy, feeling youthful and alive. Good luck in your pursuit. Let me know when you become certified and are teaching. Blessings and keep dancing, Shellie

  2. I am the Program Director for the Edmonds Senior Center. We are interested in offering a ZUMBA Gold Class. Are you or anyone you know interested in teaching at our Senior Center on Thursday mornings?

    Thanks you,
    Janice DeShon

    • Hello and thanks for your comment,
      I’m not sure if anyone got back to you on this, so please forgive me if they did. What is your location, city/state and I’ll try to locate an instructor for you. Thanks for getting back to me. Blessings, Shellie

    • Hi Bluffton, SC and thank you for your interest in Zumba Gold. To find a class in your area, go to and pull down the link on top, Find a class. Put in your zip code and you will see classes in or near your area.

      I will do a class in your area if you can bring together a group of at least 20 people, pay for travel, room and board plus $200 for the class. Let me know if you are interested.

      Let me know if I can be of further assistance to you. Grandma Shellie, The Zumba Gold Queen

    • Hi Joan, Thanks for your interest in Zumba Gold. Go to and pull down the link, find a class. Enter your zip code and there should be places near your home where classes are being taught. Shellie

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