Video interview by Adrienne Medjo.
About Albena de Assis
“Albena grew up in Luanda, Angola where, as a child, she started studying ballet and modern dance at the National School of Dance. She later moved to Portugal to study Computer Engineering but continued her dance training in ballet with Fernando Lima. After moving to Toronto she started salsa dancing in 2001, studied with some of the best salsa and afro-cuban instructors in Toronto and taught as senior instructor for United Salseros for two years.
During that time, Albena was part of Grupo Sabroso as well, performing at various venues throughout Toronto and at Salsa Congresses in Ottawa, Detroit, and Toronto. She has also performed with Yoruba Havana, an afro-cuban dance ensemble, and OnBeat Dance Company.
In 2004 she co-founded Latin Dance Theatre, with which she has performed at many festivals and venues throughout Toronto, expanding her repertoire to Latin Cabaret. 2005 saw her starting a new venture by forming AfroLatino Dance Company. She has also performed with Samba Explosion, Escola de Samba de Toronto, and Brazil Nativa, in a variety of Brazilian Samba shows.”