Born in Recife in the state of Pernambuco in the Northeast of Brazil, Jonia started Brazilian folk dances such as pastoril, frevo, xaxado and forro when she was just four years old. By the age of 10, she was studying jazz and hip hop, and by age 13 she fell in love with fitness and started taking aerobic classes and lifting weights. Her love for Hip Hop brought her to Los Angeles where she dances with Madonna Grimes Dance Theatre Company and Culture Shock Los Angeles.

For this professional dancer and mother of 2 living in Arcadia, California, dance and fitness is part of her daily life. In addition to going to the gym at least four times a week, Jonia dances with her own group Raizes do Brazil. Out of her native Brazil, she rediscovered the beauty of her own culture as she developed a deeper appreciation of dance and its skills. She has been teaching at the famous Athletic Garage in Pasadena since its opening in 1999.

Jonia loves what she does professionally and advises everyone to do what they love or at least try to love what they do. When the conversation became spiritual, she said “Have at least five minutes every day to meditate and keep your relationship with God. It is very important and helpful for the mental, physical and spiritual balance everybody needs”.

When she was asked about her plans for the future, Jonia said “My family plan is raise my baby girls in the most balanced way possible; professionally I’d like to take my dance company Raiz Brazil to the next level by developing it artistically and doing outstanding performances in great venues”.


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