Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in dance education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lue Thao, Owner and Director of Cypher Side Dance School, located in Saint Paul, MN, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I am the owner of Cypher Side Dance School, and my customers are families who have youth that express themself through dance. We are a dance studio located in the Twin Cities providing Break Dance, Hip Hop, and KPop Dance. We also provide performance entertainment for events, music videos, and much more.

Tell us about yourself

I am a Hmong dancer that immigrated here from Thailand in 1993 when I was a couple of months old. I was working a 9-5 job in the year 2017 when I received a call about an opportunity to start my own dance studio. Mary Anne Quiroz and Indigenous Roots provided guidance and accessibility to start my dance school. What motivates me is seeing the growth of students and how they can express themselves through dance.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

One of my biggest accomplishments as a business owner is being able to give opportunities for our youths to perform and showcase their talent. Some examples are MN State Fair, Governor's Inauguration, music videos, and much more!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is preparing for the unexpected. In February of 2022, our dance studio had an electrical fire. We took a loss, had to relocate, and nearly started from scratch.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Connect with people with different backgrounds.
  2. Stay true to yourself and your morals.
  3. Serve the community, and the community will give back.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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