Faculty & Dancers

parallax background


Albena de Assis

Director / Instructor / Choreographer

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. Some of her most influencial teachers are Sarita Leyva (Afro-Cuban, cabaret), Ana Machado (Afro-Cuban), Teddy Olaso (north american style salsa), Yacelis Sanchez (Afro-Cuban, Cuban folklore), Félix Pupy Insua (Afro-Cuban), Fernando Lima and Stelio Calagias (ballet).

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, a company dedicated to the performance and instruction of the dances of Afro and Latin origin, from her native Angola (kizomba, semba, afrohouse), to Cuba (salsa, Afro-Cuban, rumba), Brazil (samba) and more.

Albena has over 14 years of experience teaching (Cuban) Salsa, Samba, Afro-Cuban, Cuban Rumba, and over 7 years teaching Kizomba. AfroLatino Dance Company is also the pioneer school in Toronto to introduce Kizomba classes in 2009, Semba in 2011, and Afro-house in 2014. She feels however that as a teacher you are always a student, and you always learn something new each time you teach a class.

Teaching is such a fulfilling art form where you never stop learning

Sax Salsera

Instructor / Dancer

Sax has been passionate about dance since childhood and possessess a hard to match ability to learn new styles of dance. A great dancer of Cuban Salsa, Afro-Cuban, Rumba, Reggaeton and Dancehall, she is also an excellent teacher, nurturing and enpowering her students on their journey.

Leyani Barcenas

Dancer / Instructor

Born and raised in Holguin, Cuba, Leyani started studying ballet when she was 10 years old at the arts school in the town of Holguin, Cuba. She completed her studies there in classical ballet and was then accepted in the National School of Arts ("ENA") to further continue her training. After graduating Leyani worked at Ballet de la Camara Holguin, and various resorts in Holguin.

She migrated to Canada in 2014 and, since then, has been working at Afrolatino Dance Company as a dancer.

Yaima Vazquez


Born and raised in Cuba, Yaima brings extensive experience as a dancer in Cuban cabaret shows

Elizabeth Erhart


Originally hailing from Peru, Elizabeth brings Latin flavour, showmanship and joy to our performances

Miranda Liverpool

Dancer / Instructor

A graduate of University of Ryerson's Dance Program, Miranda has been with the company since 2006

Natasha Phanor


A graduate of University of Ryerson's Dance Program, Natasha has been with the company since 2006

Pin It on Pinterest