Today we’d like to introduce you to Albertossy Espinoza.
Albertossy, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born into poverty in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Soon my mother met the man I call my dad, and my life changed. My parents migrated to the United States when I was 4 years old. At age 5, I traveled by myself to Miami, where my dad met me, then we flew to what would be my new home, Chicago. By age 11 I knew that I wanted to be in the entertainment business, dance and acting were my calling. However, my parents couldn’t afford to send me to any dance or acting classes. Non-the less I kept dreaming and then the tv series, Fame, came along. That show cemented in me that I was going to be an actor and dancer one way or another. Ironically my junior year in high school a female friend of mine asked me to be her partner for a dance she was choreographing for the talent show. I said yes, we auditioned and didn’t get in. The director then said, we have a student that will be singing and can use back up dancers. Would you two be interested. We said yes. For some reason, she looked at me and said, can you choreograph it? I said, sure, what is the song? Guess the song…. Yup, the singer was going to sing the theme song to the tv show, Fame. If that isn’t a calling, I don’t know what is. It was a success. I knew then that even though I had never taken a dance class in my life, I was going to major in theater dance in college. So, I did. I entered Northern Illinois University and took my first dance class at age 20. Three semesters later, the top company of Chicago at that time, Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater would scout me and offer me a company scholarship. Soon I was touring internationally with them and seeing the world. Since then I’ve performed through Europe, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, and the states. My dream is to one day perform in my native country, Ecuador. I’ve choreographed for the legendary, Mr. Dick Van Dyke, I have worked with the iconic, Mr. Placido Domingo and I have performed in some of the most prestigious theaters. As I diverse dancer I perform with Ballet companies, Modern Companies, Jazz Companies and Flamenco Companies. I am a happy and fortunate man. In 2008, I finally was able to make my dream of creating an art space for the underserved community a reality. I didn’t want children to have to wait to get into college to be able to take their first dance class. I opened FUSION Performing Dance Academy, a not for profit organization on March 3, 2008. We are currently celebrating our 10th Year Anniversary. FUSION offers children classes in Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz Funk, Hip Hop and Flamenco Fusion. We also offer affordable rehearsal rental fee for companies and independent choreographers. My goal is to help and introduce a safe environment for the community to create and express themselves. After moving to Los Angeles, my acting career began in 2001 when I booked my first lead in a film. “Price of the American Dream” directed by Jackie Torres, opened the doors to a new world. I love getting lost in a character, becoming someone else and exploring new challenges. I have five other films and a cable series under my belt now. My story is a bit longer, and a bit more complex, but I can’t go on too much longer so I shall stop here.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Like anyone else, I definitely have had my ups and downs in this profession and in my personal life. Professional obstacles for me have been, my height, I stand at 5’7, relatively short for a male dancer and my ethnicity, not Latino enough for Hollywood or too Latino for some dance rolls. I almost stopped dancing because I kept getting rejected at big auditions due to my height. It was the hardest challenge I dealt with, but I pushed on through and found those who saw my talent and not my height. My financial status kept me from continuing my training in dance and acting. Classes are expensive. My training came on set and in the rehearsal room. I am extremely fortunate that I work a lot, so my training continues. Personal challenges come from losing my only child at birth, and most recently losing the person that means the world to me, my mother. Everything I did was for her. Two years ago, when she passed away suddenly, part of me died. I was ready to give everything up and join her. Luckily her strength is in me and I was able to move forward, once again for her. Other personal challenges and obstacles are too personal to share. Dance has gotten me through it all. The arts are truly important. I see the changes in the hundreds of students I work with.
Please tell us about FUSION Performing Dance Academy.
FUSION Performing Dance Academy provides comprehensive and personalized dance training to both the recreational dancer as well as the aspiring professional. We encourage the following goals for all our students: Character Development, Self-Confidence, Leadership, and Creative Expression. I wanted to build a home for dance enthusiast, beginners and professionals alike – no matter their financial situation. I aimed to create a community comprised of a broad-based ethnic and social mix of individuals who share a love of dance and theatre – working together towards common goals. I wanted to make sure talent would have equal opportunity to be nurtured despite income. And finally, I wanted to educate and expose the art of dance. I am proud of how our students change after walking through our doors. We have students that were shy and introverted that now are our star students in the studio. We have students that have gone on to performing arts schools and adult students who became instructors. I am a proud papa when I see my students on stage giving it all they have. I treat all my students like professionals and they step up to the plate. Los Angeles FUSION Dance Theater, our professional dance company has performed nationally and internationally. Our goal is to establish a youth dance company to work with our professionals. We started at a Youth Family Center, moved to a 900 sq. ft. studio space and now we reside in a 2,500 sq. ft. space. Slowly, with a lot of hard work and help, we have kept growing each year. However, the accomplishments and the smiles of our students is what makes me the proudest of my organization. Fusion is very family oriented. We always say, welcome to the Fusion family.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Favorite child hood memory would be being with my Mami Linda at the park, running around and playing chase with her. Enjoying her cooking is definitely a favorite memory too. Another favorite childhood memory is driving with the family down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. We would drive to the suburbs just to look at the beautiful big houses, and sometimes we would even find some goodies on the side walk. As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
- All Fusion classes are only $8.00 per class or if you pay monthly, only $5.00 per class. Specialty classes are $10.00 per class
- We ask for an annual registration contribution of $25.00 (only one per sibling)
- Rental fees vary on what the space is used for. (Rehearsal, teaching, filming, events)
- In celebration of our 10th Year Anniversary we are having an Open House FREE Dance Day on Saturday, April 21, 2018 10:00am to 2:00pm. 30 minute class sessions of Hip Hop, Jazz Funk, Ballet and Contemporary. We will have refreshments and our students will be performing too.
- Address: 1260 E. Goodrich Boulevard, Commerce, CA 90022 (On the corner of Olympic and Goodrich, inside the Telacu Center parking lot)
- Website: www.fpdacademy.org
- Phone: 323.386.4315 or 323.887.4938
- Email: email@example.com
Some pictures are of films I’ve done.