WASILLA — The Wasilla Music and Dance Center is currently remodeling a building across the street from Wasilla City Hall to offer more classes for local families with a brand new location.

“We’re very excited because it’s a lovely location,” owner Eileen Spezialy said.

After many successful years running the Anchorage Music and Dance Center, Spezialy decided to start the center in Wasilla. Two years ago, they began in Menard Sports Center to duplicate their Anchorage business model and see if there was a market in the Valley.

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This year, they outgrew the music room at the Menard Center, averaging 100 students per week. This significant growth that caused them to hit capacity prompted the expansion.

“There’s definitely a market here…It’s fun. The families are so into it,” Spezialy said.

The new location will serve as their primary base of operations, handling a bulk of the schedule. Spezialy noted they will still operate additional classes from the Menard Center.

“The Menard Center is such a great location because a lot of people come through,” Spezialy said.

The new building will have over 2,500 square feet with a professional-quality dance studio and five professional music rooms for private lessons and group classes.

Spezialy said the new space will allow them to offer new programs including a rock band class and an “Angelina Ballerina” themed class that’s designed for younger children, particularly preschool ages who will put on mouse ears as they learn the art of classical ballet.

“The biggest bonus for it is the kids get to wear headbands with pink ears so they look like Angelina. And really, at that age that’s what it’s all about. We like to think all these big things about what a great program, how beneficial- but you know, when it comes down to a three year old, they’re like, ‘give me my ears’ right?” Spezialy said with a laugh.

Spezialy has over 25 years of experience offering music instruction. She said that in an age of increased emphasis on science and technology, it’s all the more important to foster creative expression through music, dance and the arts.

She said the arts do not only strengthen and stretch young, “sponge” brains in a variety of ways, but they also teach kids valuable lessons like friendship and dedication as they work toward a common goal.

“It’s so supportive of so many things… Arts education is so important. I can’t stress that enough,” Spezialy said.The new facility is set to open in September.

For more information, contact Eileen Spezialy at 907-354-3658, or admin@wasillamusicdance.com

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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