40 Under 40: Ashley Smith


Company: SMASH Dance Academy
Title: Studio owner + Director
Age: 37
City: Orem

CAREER ANTHEM “Girl On Fire” by Alicia Keys

LINER NOTES Ashley Smith was born to move. She grew up in Las Vegas and began dancing at age 7. Her credentials are on point: Royal Academy of Dancing Ballet Curriculum; International Society of Tap Dancing Curriculum; a dancer at BYU; a certified RAD trained teacher; a certified American Ballet Theater teacher. In 2007, she opened a studio in her basement. And in 2011, that smashing success of a studio moved to the Riverwoods in Provo where multiple genres are taught to 600-plus students. Smith is dedicated to dance and to Utah Valley — but too often she sees dancers moving to the coasts for work. Smith is creating an environment where the best-trained dancers in the world can stay right here at home, bustin’ a move and living their dance dreams. She and her husband, Ryan Smith (Qualtrics CEO and co-founder), stay in sync as they raise children and businesses together.


FAVORITE LYRIC “For tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.” — “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles

CAREER HIGH NOTE “Watching students continue their passion for dance after graduation.”

CAREER LOW NOTE “When a student expresses low self-confidence.”

BEATING TO MY OWN DRUM “I do things others say are impossible.”

MY FORTE “Reminding young dancers of their potential and teaching them what it means to be a good person.”

DREAM RECORD “To help performing arts grow for youth in Utah County. I’d also like to perform in a musical theater play. I’ve always only been a dancer.”


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