Dania Ramirez was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. At an early age, she decided to become an actress. As a young child, she would reenact telenovelas for her family. She was discovered by a modeling scout while working in a convenience store at the age of 15, and was cast in a small part in a soda commercial. Later, she decided to pursue acting seriously and studied at the Actor’s Workshop in New York City under Flo Greenberg.