Maria grew up in Recife, a city located in northeast of Brazil, performing at cultural street parties and shows. She started dancing at a very early age, strongly influenced by the folkloric musical atmosphere of her city. Her professional career as performer began in her childhood, dancing classic ballet and jazz. Since then, she has performed for several dance companies in Brazil, where she learned many typical Brazilian dances, such as Frevo, Samba, Xaxado, Lambada and Axe.
After immigrating to Canada in 1997, Maria continued to be involved with artistic dance. She has performed and taught Brazilian dance at Afro-Bahia Dance Studio in Vancouver, BC. As a member of the Afro-Bahia Dance Group, Maria has participated in several shows and workshops.
In 2001, Maria moved to Calgary and in partnership with the Brazilian Community Association created the Aquarela Brasil Heritage Dance Group. Maria worked as choreographer, producer and art director for the group. Since its inception, Aquarela Brasil Heritage Dance Group has performed at many Calgary festivals including Globalfest, International Dance Day, Lilac Festival and Heritage Festival.