Business Idea: Salsa Dancing

Building A Dance Empire

Entertainment is the main feature on the plate of Luis and Joby Vazquez, husband-and-wife founders of Salsa Brava Productions in Long Beach, California. They do it all, from teaching to managing their group's performance schedule and producing instructional videos.

Started in 1994, Salsa Brava Productions was one of the pioneers of the salsa dance craze. Back then, salsa was just a hobby--in fact, Luis and Joby met on the dance floor--but their salsa stylings garnered attention. "People were always asking Luis about teaching private [lessons]," says Joby, 33.

When Luis quit his job a few months later, he decided to try teaching part time. That evolved into group lessons at nightclubs in the Orange County, California, area, and a year later, Joby was able to quit her job so she and Luis could focus on their business full time.

It's safe to say that Salsa Brava is enjoying the best of both the dance and business worlds. "This is a social business," says Joby, "so you're pretty much on call 24 hours a day."

Their final advice for aspiring salsa entrepreneurs? Says Luis, "Go where the dancers are."

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This article was originally published in the February 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Business Idea: Salsa Dancing.

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