Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in health and fitness but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lisa Valdes Romero, founder of SMASH Dance and Fitness, located in San Antonio, TX, USA.

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

SMASH is a non-intimidating boutique-style dance fitness studio for kids and adults of all levels in a caring, fun environment founded in Las Vegas in 2005 and then moved to San Antonio in 2010 due to our military background. We provide dance fitness for adults, a dance school for kids ages 3-18, Quinceanera choreographies, and host fun bachelorette dance parties.

What differentiates SMASH is that we provide a wide variety of diverse fun dance and fitness classes for the entire family. We believe in kindness and community. Our community outreach program "Project SMASH" provides dance and fitness classes for shelters, children's homes and give underprivileged kids dance scholarships. We teach all of our students, from kids to adults, to give back to their community and express themselves through dance. By being in the SMASH family, you will experience and be part of this positive community impact.

Tell us about yourself

I used to be a professional dancer in the 90's, dancing on Las Vegas stages, mostly at the Tropicana Hotel Las Vegas. My father owns an entertainment agency called Las Vegas Best Entertainment and has managed my dance career for several years. He still has that business. I grew up as a shy child with Spanish as my first language. My parents are from Cuba and spoke only Spanish to me. However, once my parents put me in dance lessons, I blossomed and used dance and music as a way to express myself. I know dance and music empower a person and help with confidence and self-esteem. It also heals. So any talent that was given to me, I felt the need to have to share with the world, especially children and women, so it can help them as it helped me.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment, I have to say, is never giving up. I first opened my studio in Las Vegas in 2005. It was starting to do great until the 2008 economic crisis I had to close my doors. However, I met my military husband at my studio right before it closed. When he was stationed in San Antonio, Texas, I followed and started from the bottom (again). Then in 2018, the church moved next to me, so our landlord didn't want to renew my lease because of our loud music, but thankfully I found a new space one block over, and although it was hard to move, it was done and was a blessing because once I move I tripled in size! Then 2020 COVID, we were locked down for several months. We held in there, and thankfully with the support of our students, our instructors, and supporters, we survived that too. There's been many hurdles, heartbreaks, and unbelievable bumps in this journey, but when you are passionate about your business, you just figure it out. You have to:)

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

The hardest thing is learning to let go of students and staff when it's time for them to leave. I treat each one of our students and instructors as if they are truly my family, but sometimes they have to move on and grow to do other things and leave the studio. To this day, I have the hardest time letting go, but I'm grateful when I run into them later. They tell me all their cherished smash memories and are grateful for their time at smash.

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

First, have some money saved. I went in into this with no money and somehow figured it out, but it was hard. I wish I would have started with a cushion. It would have saved me a lot of stress.

Second, do your research. Think of everything if you are trying to find a location; even where the sun sets in your space can make a difference in your power bill. I never thought of this, and my power bill was crazy high because my first space had a lot of windows, and the sun would hit hard in the afternoons.

Third. BUSINESS ETHICS. Have some. Don't move near another similar business to take their business or compete with them. There's enough success for everyone and plenty of space. Try to do a 3-5 mile radius if you are going near a similar business. When I first opened, I didn't have too many similar companies in my area then. I think because people in my industry do well, everyone wanted to open one too on my same street! Again, people will always go where they feel comfortable, and customer service is a big thing for me. But as a business owner, I would never do that to another business owner.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Sometimes when you start a dream that no one can see but you, people think you are crazy and will never make it. I was the first person in my immediate family to have an overhead/storefront type of business. I know I indirectly inspired many friends and family to start their own businesses after I did (if she can do it, so can I:) mentality. And that's great. That's my purpose. To inspire and help others. I live very humbly, and I am a minimalist because my business means more to me than having fancy things. My final words, Always give back to your community, give as much as you can and always Have faith in yourself.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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