Juliana Braga is born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in 1964. At the age of ten, Juliana starts her education in modern dance, theatre, afro-Brazilian and folklore dance at the first dance school for modern dance in Belo Horizonte, Transforma. Juliana's teacher, Marilene Martins, teaches not only dancing, but also didactics, anatomy and musicality to Juliana.
After four years of intensive, private lessons by dancing icon Marilene Martins, Juliana, aged fifteen, is invited to teach at Transforma. For ten years, Juliana works as a teacher, dancer and choreographer.
In 1981, Juliana's father takes her to a gafieira: a place where people dance samba, bolero and other partnering dances. It is here that Juliana discovers saloon dance is her passion. She takes up intensive classes with the best saloon dancers of Belo Horizonte.
Transforma is invited to do a tour in Europe in 1989. The Netherlands is among the places the dance group visits. Here, Juliana makes a choreography for Het folkloristisch danstheater. Juliana decides to settle in the Netherlands. She receives a registration from the Ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap (Ministry for Education, Culture and Science) as an educator of arts.
From the 1990s, Juliana gives numerous workshops and creates many choreographies for cultural organisations all across the Netherlands. Among her clients are Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam, Buitenkunst and CliniClowns.
Juliana returns to Brazil in 2002, after she is invited by the Brazilian Ministry for Culture to organise a children's project in the favelas (slums). She does this for four years. The results of her work are very positive.
In 2007, Juliana returns to the Netherlands and she opens her own dancing school in the centre of Amsterdam: Espaço Cultural. From here and the Muiderpoorttheater, she teaches forró, samba solo and samba de gafieira. She also teaches musicality and body awareness to children. Besides that, she organises many cultural dances and parties and she gives workshops and demonstrations throughout the country.
Ever since Juliana first settled in the Netherlands in the early 1990s, she has spreaded Brazilian culture, music and dance through Europe. To learn more about her ideas on dance and expression, read this interview (2010).