“After about two years, I started missing dancing because I had danced all through high school and college,” she said.
Sanchez first signed up for classes at area dance studios and took on a side gig as a group fitness instructor to find a creative outlet outside her 9-to-5 job.
The competitive nature of many dance studios however, left her searching for an environment that took stress away from her daily life rather than adding to it, she said. By combining her talents for teaching and dancing, Sanchez and her business partner, Christian Bianchi, started teaching their first classes in 2015 in rented space three times a week.
“No one is there to judge you. Everyone is there to support you, encourage you and see you succeed at [a class] that isn’t something you’re comfortable with,” Sanchez said of their approach to classes.
As they built up a following, Sanchez said she knew she could sustain her business at a studio. In 2016, while still working her corporate job, Sanchez and Bianchi opened Dance House Fitness’ first location at 1839 Richmond Ave. in Montrose. By 2017, Sanchez had turned to teaching and managing the business full-time and opened DHF’s second location at 246 W. 19th St. in the Heights.
Both studios now offer eight varieties of classes throughout the day and have 10 instructors on staff. As demands of running the business grow, Sanchez said she continues to lead her own classes and hopes that will not have to change any time soon.
“I teach every single day,” she said. “I love it. It’s such a big part of why I started this, so I don’t think I’ll ever stop.”
With an eye on expanding within Houston’s inner loop or even into Austin, Sanchez said her goal remains to provide the kind of dance class she had been looking for when she first took up dancing again as an adult.
“I think the biggest feedback we get is [clients] walk out, and they’re like, ‘That was so much fun; I feel inspired and empowered to be my best self,’” she said.
Dance House Fitness
Montrose location: 1839 Richmond Ave., Houston
Heights location: 246 W. 19th St., Houston