By Kristen Miller
COKATO, MN The windows have been uncovered and remodeling has begun on the building at 335 Broadway Avenue in downtown Cokato.
Renting the 1,900-square-foot store front is Wendy Moore, Zumba and dance instructor, and the new owner of Miss Wendy’s Dance and Fitness, opening Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Last January, Moore, a certified Zumba instructor out of Maplewood, started offering Zumba classes in Cokato.
The Latin-inspired dance fitness program became a hit among women in the Dassel-Cokato area and has grown from two days a week to seven days a week with three additional instructors.
Moore, who moved to Cokato in September, was asked by a few of her Zumba parents if she also taught dance.
Though her focus has most recently been on Zumba, she had been a dance instructor in the past, managing a studio in Oklahoma.
In October, Moore decided to offer a six-week dance session teaching hip-hop, in which 32 kids enrolled.
“I realized the demand was there,” she said.
Having grown up in the arts beginning with dance as a young girl, playing clarinet, and participating in color guard that’s where her passion lies.
“Zumba is my job and a passion I have because of the changes it makes in people’s lives, but this addition is because of my passion for the arts,” Moore said.
She will be offering lessons in ballet, tap, and hip-hop for youth in preschool through sixth grade.
Though the space located in the strip mall on Highway 12 was sufficient for Zumba classes, it wasn’t conducive for dance.
Moore was informed of the available space, owned by Hap Brice, through the Cokato Economic Development Authority.
“The curb appeal was definitely something that drew me to it,” Moore said.
In the early 1990s, the building once housed Boger Hardware Store, but has since been utilized by Brice for storage in the front half, and the back half for a business he ran until about a year ago, Metal Products Company.
Once Moore’s business is more established, she hopes to rent an additional 2,000 square feet of space from Brice. This space would provide another dance room when necessary. Moore would also like to offer acting, voice, and instrumental lessons eventually.
For more information regarding classes, contact Moore at (651) 815-1228 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.