Maria de Jesus de Santiago was born in Jalisco, Mexico. She moved to South Carolina in the late 1990s and brought with her a love of folkloric Mexican dance. She began learning the art when she was a child at the Ballet Folklorico. She has been teaching dance to her students and her own children for over ten years.
She returns to Mexico every year to perform with her dance group at local festivals and fiestas. She has also performed at the Peach Blossom Festival in Johnston, South Carolina.