Let's Talk About Samba - Interview with samba Queen Jônia
Posted on 23 April 2020
Let's Talk About Samba?
This week we interviewed Jônia Queen. She was the US Samba Queen 2016-2017. We will share with you her passion and love for samba on this candid interviewed.
"Jônia, we would love to know more about your love and passion for samba! Our customers and subscribers want to inspired by dancers like you!"
When did you start samba dancing and where?
Jônia Queen: Being born and raised in Brazil, I was always fascinated by the Samba Schools during Carnaval and admired the Samba Dancers, Queens, Muses. Originally from Recife, Pernambuco state, I grew up dancing the Pernambuco folk dances and when I moved to Sao Paulo, that’s when I had my first encounter with a Samba School. I was a trained Dancer of other styles, but I would dance Samba just as leisurely. When I moved to Los Angeles, California, that’s when I started dancing Samba professionally doing shows in different events.
What inspired you to start exploring samba?
Jônia Queen: I always loved dancing Samba, but in Brazil I thought because I didn’t grow up in a Samba community, and I was busy with school and dancing in dance companies, I thought it was an unreachable dream…But as I had the opportunity in Los Angeles, I got more and more inspired, and that secret dream I had of being a Samba Dancer was coming true very organically and as I want to improve and grow I got even more inspired by the past experiences I had in Brazil with Samba as a leisure and observer and I started getting inspired also by meeting new Dancers that were more experienced and inspiring in LA.
What's your favorite part of dancing samba?
Jônia Queen: The uplifting energy, how it makes me smile no matter what.
Costume above by BrazilCarnivalShop LARANJA SUBLIME
Jonia above with her group of students, costumes by BrazilCarnivalShop
Group costume above by BrazilCarnivalshop
How do you keep yourself fit?
Jônia Queen: Mainly dancing Samba and watching what I eat.
Jonia Queen with celebrity samba guru master samba teacher, choreographer, instructor and professional dancer Carlinhos Salgueiro.
What advice would you give to a beginner samba dancer?
Jônia Queen: I would advice for the beginner Samba Dancer to take many Samba classes, try to study about the Brazilian Samba as an art and culture and connect with the meaning and soul of it, try to watch videos from current Passistas in Brazil and reference teachers and dancers in the Samba World.
Jonia above looking very Carmen beautiful. Shoes "Eliane 4 Ankle Straps" by BrazilCarnivalShop
Any favorite experience/moments in samba dancing?
Jônia Queen: As a Solo Samba Dancer winning the National Title as “Samba Queen USA 2016/17” and going to Brazil to represent the US with a dream sponsored costume (which Brazilcarnivalshop was one of the Sponsor's ❤). As Raiz Brazil Dance Company Director our international performance tour to Russia in 2016, where we were headliners in the Arkhangelsk Street Theater Festival.
What are other achievements and awards you would live to share with us?
2001 - Princesa da Bateria ( Princess of the Drums) da Mila ( Mocidade Independente de Los Angeles )
2008 - Rainha da Bateria da Sambalá Samba a School in Long Beach (great Los Angeles)
2009 - Rainha da Bateria (Queen of the Drums) da Sambalá Samba a School in Long Beach (great Los Angeles)
2010 - Rainha da Bateria da Sambalá Samba a School in Long Beach (great Los Angeles)
2011 - Rainha da Bateria da Sambalá Samba a School in Long Beach (great Los Angeles)
2014 - Santa Barbara Brazilian Carnival Queen
2014 - San Diego Brazil Carnival Queen
2015 - Hollywood Carnival Queen
2016/17 - Samba Queen USA
2018/19 - Cory Thomas Designer Ambassador
2019 - Officially nominated Brand Queen for the Hollywood Carnival as “ 1st Hollywood Carnival Queen”
(Raiz Brazil Dance Company):
2009 - 1st Place in the 1st Los Angeles Samba Groups Competition
2017 - 1st Place National Competition in Arizona Semi-Pro category
Can you share a little bit about you or your samba company?
Jônia Queen: Raiz Brazil Dance Company is a Company based in Los Angeles and had its debut in February 2008 in the Sambala Samba School Carnival Ball in Long Beach. Since then we did 4 International Tours ( Mexico, Thailand, China and Russia ) and performed in many cities/states in the US ( Las Vegas -NV, Reno- NV, Phoenix-AZ, San Diego- CA, Santa Barbara-CA, Memphis-TN, Detroit-MI , Sacramento-CA, New York-CA, etc ). Raiz Brazil also has performed with Sergio Mendes in the Hollywood Bowl for 17000 people, and performed to Ozomatli Band in the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl as well. Raiz Brazil performs mainly Samba because it’s the most known but we also perform other Brazilian Folk Dances like Frevo, Maracatu, Xaxado, Samba-Reggae, Samba-Axe and the Brazilian Ballroom Dance Dance Samba de Gafieira.
Do you teach classes and which style?
Jônia Queen: I teach mainly Samba ( Rio/São Paulo style), but I have experience teaching also Samba de Gafieira, Samba Axe, Frevo, Maracatu. And I teach Samba/Fitness Workout Class.
Please share with us your website, YouTube channel, social media? How can viewers contact you?
Jônia Queen: Website: www.raizbrazilsambashow.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/joniaqueen/
Jônia Queen: I love all the costumes, products and amazing customer service.
Costume above by BrazilCarnivalshop VIBRANTE VERDE AGUA LUXURY BIKINI SAMBA COSTUME
Thank you Jônia for sharing your interview with us and your followers! We love you!