517 Magazine Days of Giveaways

Winalee Zeeb: Lightness of Heart

Following in her parents’ footsteps, Lansing resident Winalee Zeeb lives her life by being true to herself, sharing with others and conne…

Following in her parents’ footsteps, Lansing resident Winalee Zeeb lives her life by being true to herself, sharing with others and connecting everything she does with her heart.

“I love just sharing what I’m passionate about — it feels needed these days to bring a light heart everywhere I go,” said Zeeb.

Zeeb grew up in Owosso, MI, in a family of seven. As the youngest of five girls in her family, she identifies as being the baby.

“I feel like I still hang out somewhere around my six-year-old self, I’m always twirling around and hugging often,” said Zeeb.

After moving to East Lansing, she received her bachelor’s degree in business from Michigan State University and ended up taking a few courses in 1979 in Hawaii in the process, one of which was scuba diving. She discovered a real passion for it, and once she returned to Lansing, she decided to get into the scuba diving business.

Zeeb flipped through the yellow pages to see if there were any scuba shops nearby, or if there would be an opportunity to start her own. She found one that was just starting up, run by her now-husband, Ron, and his business partner. Finding they shared a passion, the couple was soon married. Zeeb bought out his partner and they traveled the world by sea.

Zeeb also made time to teach aerobics at Lansing Community College (LCC). After injuring both of her knees teaching aerobics, she soon became disconnected and unhappy with the path her life was on.

“I was just getting ready to quit, I was really burnt out,” she explained.

She found hope 18 years ago when she was introduced to a body-embracing exercise concept known as Nia at a conference in Las Vegas. The moves of Nia sparked Zeeb to expand her outlook on life.

“I literally cried in joy,” said Zeeb.

Zeeb and her husband finally closed the scuba shop two years ago to open doors for her new business, Heartdance Studio. Zeeb also teaches Nia at LCC, Creative Wellness and the Michigan Athletic Club; she travels internationally to train instructors.

“It’s not my job to fix everyone, and I used to think it was. Instead, it’s about being true to your own uniqueness,” said Zeeb.

Through all the career opportunities she has taken, Zeeb’s life has been marked with adventure. Along with her passion for Nia, she sings professionally, has one “bonus” son (the term she prefers to “stepson”) and one granddaughter.

“I’m 51 years old, and I feel stronger now than when I was younger because I was moving without awareness,” said Zeeb.


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