Melissa Heldwein is a single Mommy to her beautiful daughter, Aaliyah Rose. Aaliyah is the inspiration for all she does! She also works full time at People Inc., WNY’s largest not for profit human service agency providing case management services to individuals with developmental disabilities. This job is her passion as well and she absolutely loves her work! The most rewarding part is when family’s tell her “If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have ever known about this” (be it funding, a specialized program, or help they can get to care for their loved one). She also has an adopted brother that is developmentally disabled so she spends her free time visiting him and ensuring he has the care he needs as well.
As far as fitness goes, Melissa has been a dancer her whole life! Her dancing career started at the tender age of 4 at Marjorie Blakely’s Dance Studio where she took ballet, tap, jazz and hip-hop for many, many years. She also participated in the studio’s Showtime Kids program in which the group of dancers traveled all over WNY providing free dance shows to the community at parades, nursing homes, amusement parks, etc. She had a break in dancing when she went to college and became pregnant with Aaliyah her senior year. She graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology & Criminology/Criminal Justice in 2008 and went on to pursue her Master’s Degree in Human Services online, graduating this past March 2013. She now has the time to begin her ZUMBA® career!!!
Melissa was introduced to ZUMBA® Fitness by Joscelynn Baio and Sara Marerro at the PACC in August 2012. She fell instantly in love with reviving her dance skills and getting back into focusing on her physical and emotional well-being as a result. She became licensed to teach ZUMBA® & ZUMBA Gold® fitness in November 2012 and now that school is over….. iT’s TiMe To PaRtY!!!!!!!!!!!! Joining Joscelynn Baio to help her company to grow, Melissa informed Joscelynn of her ideas to spread the joy of ZUMBA® fitness across WNY and to those with physical limitations. As a result, Sow It Now Fitness is also working with People Inc. to offer low cost ZUMBA® & ZUMBA Gold® classes at their Arts Experience day habilitation location on Delaware in Buffalo to individuals receiving their services, their families and staff, and the general WNY community – keep your eyes out for updates on this exciting endeavor! Classes will be offered to those with physical challenges as well and those in wheelchairs – a benefit to the mind and body!!!!! View Sow It Now’s calendar for classes offered by Melissa.”