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Freila de la Caridad Merencio Blanco

Freila Merencio began her  dancing career at the tender age of five. Born in Havana Cuba in 1971 she grew up in her grandfathers house which also doubled as a cultural center for performers and practitioners  of various Afro-Cuban cultural traditions located in the barrio of “Atarés”.   It was in her grandfathers professional company  called “Liberacion 75’“  that she began performing as a soloist, performing the dance for the Afro-Cuban deity Ellegua.

She began her professional career in 1990 joining the renowned  folkloric group Raices Profundas. She quickly  rose through the ranks to become soloist and later chorographer.  Her tenure with Raices took her throughout the island as well as tours to France, Germany, Japan Sweden, Belgium, Nicaragua and Mexico. She left Raices in 2004 to prepare for her move to the U.S. In addition to her time with Raices she managed to take work with the highly  popular rumba group Yoruba Andabo as a dancer and back up singer and has worked as an actress in national and international productions. As well as being a first rate performer, Freila is a sought after teacher of most forms of Cuban dance from Folklore and Rumba to modern and popular. She has developed an international cadre of faithful students who regularly traveled to Cuba to study with her.

As a Cuban artist Freila is dedicated to passing on the treasures of her Afro-Cuban heritage with the same degree of integrity and quality with which they were given to her. As a contemporary performer she looks forward to learning from and collaborating with her colleagues in the U.S. and internationally. Her considerable amount of talent and experience combined with an open mind and high degree of discipline assures us that she will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.



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