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Meet Deborah Perez of By Your Side Dance Studio in West Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Deborah Perez.

Deborah, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was in college trying to decide what to do with my life. I had always loved dance. I was home on spring break when I heard an ad on the radio from a local ballroom dance school looking for instructors. I went in for the interview and was immediately hired. I never looked back. Within a year, I had achieved many dance titles with my partner at the time, Eddie Ares. We had become the U.S. Rising Star Theatre Arts Champions our first year competing. I soon moved West to Los Angeles, where I continued to teach. I worked during the day for a health club company in their accounting department and taught dance at night. The two jobs made for very long working hours and I was not being fulfilled. The dance world kept calling my name. As the economy tanked and I saw fellow employees losing their jobs each week, I finally decided to take the leap into dancing full time before I was pushed. I quit my job, fearfully signed a lease on a small 1000 sq. foot space and hoped upon all hope I’d make it. I was soon to be married and worried about failing and taking my new husband down with me. After speaking to him, he handed me a piece of paper that read, “Take a chance! All life is a chance. The man who goes farthest is usually the one who is willing to do and dare!” by Dale Carnegie. So I dared! The years went by one by one and the student body continued to grow. There were ups and downs along the way as well as many tears within the struggle, but we stayed focused on our goals and have risen to the top. Thanks to my husband’s support and my incredible staff, we just celebrated our ten year Anniversary and are stronger than ever. It definitely takes courage to be an entrepreneur, but more than anything, it takes an incredible support system. I feel so blessed to have my husband, Rene Perez, my current dance partner and events coordinator, Guillermo Ceballos, and my other incredibly talented instructors, Shay Dixon, Laura Canellias, Felipe Telona and Jordi Caballero who are all world class instructors. They have been an incredible support system for our business and couldn’t have come this far without them.

Has it been a smooth road?
This journey has been both smooth at times and challenging. I think the toughest lessons I had to learn were about when, where and how to advertise. I recall sitting in the middle of my dance studio floor in tears over advertising costs and not knowing who to hire. There were so many options and avenues it was overwhelming. Luckily, I was referred to an amazing advertising company, BYStudio, who got me back on my feet in no time. Hiring the right staff has also been challenging.  It’s not easy finding instructors who can appreciate my southern roots and the degree of compassion I expect toward our students. Other than that, it’s been pretty smooth sailing. We do work every day, but when you do what you love, I’m not sure you can actually call it work.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
WITHIN THE STUDIO: We are a ballroom, Latin, tap and social dance studio, we bring dance into people’s lives on many levels. We teach people to dance for their weddings, social reasons, competitions, exercise, and performances. We also provide lessons for any budget. We believe everyone should be able to include dance in their lives.

STAFF TEAM SUPPORT: I love my staff! We are a family. The instructors we have working within our studio are amazing dancers, instructors and people who support each other fully. We are good friends on and off the dance floor.

WHAT SETS US APART: We have a warm and welcoming environment within our studio. The staff and students work together to create a friendly and supportive atmosphere. Our staff supports each other’s goals by helping them reach them. Our motto is, “It takes teamwork. To make the dream work!” We are currently helping one of our staff members, Shay Dixon, inspire Hustle dancing in Los Angeles through a promotion he calls the LA Hustle Movement and we expect it to take off in a big way.

WHAT I’M MOST PROUD OF: We make people happier. Our studio is a home away from home for many people. It’s a soft place to land where you know you are always welcome, recognized and encouraged.

VOLUNTEERING: We also volunteer for a non-profit organization called U.S.A. Dance. We are members of the Board of Directors for this wonderful organization. We host monthly dances for the community at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Culver City. We also host New Year’s Eve dances each year and periodic showcases which give our students an opportunity to perform for their friends and family. Several times a year, we go to senior living facilities to entertain and involve the residence with our love of dance.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Every city big or small should have a dance studio that makes it possible for anyone and everyone from all walks of life to participate. It brings people together like no other business I know.  People who would otherwise never meet or spend time together get to meet on equal ground. In a big city like L.A., it can be hard to socialize. The friendships, marriages and partnerships created within the studio tell one heck of a story!


  • First Group Class is FREE
  • First Introductory Private Lesson is $45
  • Pay as you go group classes are $15 per class/per person
  • Private lesson rates range from $80-$100 depending on the package

Contact Info:

  • Address: By Your Side Dance Studio
    12613 W. Washington Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90066
  • Website:
  • Phone: 310-391-0400
  • Email:

Image Credit:
Photo credit for professional pics goes to Paul Antico


  1. Karen West

    March 21, 2017 at 23:10

    Deborah I remember you as a young girl twirling your baton. I am glad to call you a close friend & am so proud of what you have acheived.You have grown into a beautiful young woman. And I know my Mama & Daddy are looking down on you from Heaven smiling at what you have become.

  2. Deborah

    March 22, 2017 at 00:50

    Thank you Karen. You brought tears to my eyes with your sweet words.

  3. Jaclyn kuka

    March 22, 2017 at 23:11

    Deborah , Rene and your whole team
    I just wanted to say. Congratulations to you all !
    What a great article !!

    And on a personal note having known Deborah for years and having worked side by side as well
    I know all that you have put into your studio , it is lively and I believe a beautiful reflection of you ! A great combination of artististy and caring
    Well done you !! 💕👍

    • Deborah

      March 23, 2017 at 05:54

      Thank you Jackie. I appreciate your support and friendship so very much.

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