Albert Torres passed away yesterday. After a stroke on April 23rd, he's been in the hospital where family and friends stayed with him.
Albert has been an amazing inspiration for many people of the salsa world, including ourselves. He was world’s premier producer of live Salsa Music and Dance events. When we started organising the Limburg Salsa Festival, he taught us so much. He promoted our festival everywhere. He even promoted us when he was flying to other festivals 🙂 So when he invited us to his World Latin Dance Cup, everyone there knew "Limburg". He took us backstage to all the amazing dancers and he spoke to them about us. During the 6 hour (!) finals, we sat in front of the stage with the mayor of San Diego.
He came to our festival 3 times to present the shows. We organised the qualifications for the WLDC 4 times, where people from all over the world came to join these qualifications. What a time was that with over 1500 participants from 53 different countries!
He knew all the famous singers and dancers. Every year he gave a workshop "history of salsa" at our festival.
Albert and we met very frequently at the beginning of our festival career. He was at 50 festivals a year, we at about 40. Every time we spoke about the salsa scene, the dancers, the music, our lives.
He was our mentor. Sometimes he asked me medical questions, but most of the time it was about life itself and the salsa.
This picture was taken at our 2nd Limburg Salsa Festival in 2010 and probably one of the most used pictures of him.
Albert was born in 1956, in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up with his Porto Rican mother who taught him how to dance salsa. After a black period where he was homeless and addicted to alcohol, he was selected as one of the dancers of the movie Mambo Kings with Antonio Banderas, Tito Puente and Celia Cruz (in 1991).
But when he danced on TV with Jennifer Lopez, he really got famous as a dancer.
With its motto “Creating Unity Through Salsa,” he started promoting salsa in all different ways you can imagine. He's been like a father and inspirator for many. He helped people with Parkinson or paralyses to dance and enjoy the music. He stimulated kids to follow their dreams and dance. He was a source of energy and hope. An inspiration to a countless number of people from all walks of life.
He is the organiser of the Los Angelos Salsa Congress and the World Latin Dance Cup (former World Salsa Championships). He promoted many musicians and dancers and stimulated them to never give up.
One of the great memories we have of Albert Torres.
Khalid proposed to me the 15th of December 2010 in Las Vegas. When we arrived in San Diego, where , Albert asked us on stage and told the audience about this special birthday present during the finals of the WLDC, broadcasted live!
During our festival in May 2011, he told our guests about this while this picture was taken...
We share so many good memories. You'll be missed by many, Albert! Thank you for everything. Una buuyaaaaa!
Always in for crazy stuff... with Paradiso Dance from NY at our festival in 2010.
Co-producing our festival and organising the qualifications of the World Latin Dance Cup.
He always believed in us. He was proud of us, of what we achieved... thanks again Albert!
Always promoting other festivals around the world 🙂
With Albert at Todo Latino Festival, Athens with Marc Anthony
With Albert in Milano