Jolina Javier is an actress, dancer, model and certified personal trainer based in New York. She graduated Cum Laude from SUNY Purchase College with a BFA in Dance and was the recipient of the program’s Ballet Achievement Award. Upon graduation, Jolina has had a tremendous performing arts career. She has been on Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera; played the role of Connie Wong in A Chorus Line at New York City Center; was a cast member in The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall; and performed at the Metropolitan Opera. In addition to stage work, Jolina also has been featured in commercials, working with popular brands such as Boll & Branch, BioTrue, Kayak and BJ’s Brewhouse and Restaurant. Along with her love for the arts, she also has a passion for health, fitness, cooking, donuts and nature and enjoys spending time with her husband, Mike and furbaby, Roy. When asked who she admires, Jolina points to her mother saying, “she is the reason why I am so successful today.” Read on to learn more about Jolina and what makes her an Amazing Asian in the Arts!
Name: Jolina Javier
Hometown: San Jose, California
Current City: High Falls, NY/Astoria, NY
Lucille Lortel Off Broadway Award Show
What are some of your favorite credits/projects?
Marie, Dancing Still, The Phantom of the Opera, Connie Wong in A Chorus Line
Any advice for young people getting into the arts?
I would say to train, train, train. It's so important to have a solid technique so that you can learn how to eventually let it all go. I would also say not to compare yourself to others. Everyone has a different journey and it will not look like yours. Lastly, I would advise them to find outside hobbies and interests because those experiences will make you a more interesting artist and storyteller.
How did you get your start?
I started taking ballet because my big sister did. Everything she did, I also had to do. I fell in love with dance and studied with the San Francisco Ballet and Jose Dance Theatre. I continued my training at Purchase College and received my BFA in Dance. I moved to New York City and started freelancing with various concert dance companies. I booked my first major dance job as an ensemble dancer in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring The Radio City Rockettes. I got my first taste of theatre doing that show because I had to sing and dance at the same time. I realized how much I enjoyed the marrying of the singing, dancing and acting and thought I should dip my toes into musical theatre.
Do you have any favorite moments in your career that you'd like to share?
One of my favorite moments in my career was when I was given the opportunity to be a part of a brand-new musical, Marie, Dancing Still. I got to work with some of my idols and some of the biggest legends in Broadway. I felt like I died and went to heaven. It was such a special experience being in a show that was still a work in process. I was witnessing history in the making every rehearsal. I would watch Lynne Ahearns and Stephen Flaherty compose songs right before my eyes and ears and have Susan Stroman create movement for me and one of the biggest ballet superstars in the world, Tiler Peck. Dancing and playing alongside Tiler Peck is still something I'm trying to fathom to this day. I always think I dreamed it. Also, Center Stage is one of my favorite dance movies and I still have that poster up in my childhood bedroom so working with Susan Stroman felt surreal. Every time she said my name, I died a little inside.
What have you found is the biggest challenge in your career?
The biggest challenge of my career has been finding my confidence not only as a performer but as a singer. I grew up dancing my whole life and singing is a whole different set of skills to learn. It's like learning a new language. Just like taking dance class, it's been so important for me to take voice lessons. I have decided to take this journey into Musical Theatre and that means putting in the work and working on my voice. If it doesn't scare you then I say it's not worth doing. I want to be able to tell stories not only with my body but with my voice as well.
What are some interesting facts about yourself?
I love donuts. I make it my mission to try all different kinds of donuts all over the world. I love to eat in general; it's my happy place.
Who do you admire?
I admire my mother. She is the reason why I am so successful today. Without her unconditional love and support I would not have been able chase my dreams and do what I love for a living. I think about all the hats she had to wear as young mother raising two girls on her own and I now tell my mom every moment I get how much I appreciate everything she does for me because I didn't say it enough when I was younger. She's my hero.
Did you always want to be in the arts, or did you have another path before you got here?
I always knew I wanted to tell stories somehow. I used to watch Saturday Night Live ritually, and I loved impersonating my favorite characters and loved hamming it up for my family. I knew I loved making others feel good while entertaining them. I loved at a young age taking people on a journey with my storytelling.
Do you have any side projects you’d like to highlight?
I discovered in Covid how much I love interior design. My husband and I recently purchased a home and I have loved creating a space for us that feels personal and artistic. It has allowed me to see that I can use my creativity in ways that is not performing on a stage.
If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to not let your insecurities be so loud and to stop and listen more. I would also say be kinder to yourself and get out of your head – well, I'm still saying that to myself.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is succeeding in my artistic, professional and personal life. I am so fortunate to be able to do what I love for a living. I worked hard and am still hustling to make it happen in an ongoing pandemic. Being married to a brilliant and loving man as well as being a dog mom to my son, Roy is my favorite achievement. Our family is my biggest success story.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love that this career allows me to meet so many different people from different parts of theatre, dance, and film. I have met lifelong friends who I consider now family through my work. I also love that my work takes me to places I have never been before so I can try more donuts. I love to travel for work and play!
Do you have any self-care practices you do to stay focused and sane?
I am a creature of habit and routine. Every morning I wake up and drink a large cup of water with lemon cayenne pepper, then have my cup of coffee. I journal as I sip my coffee, catch up on the news and then eat breakfast. I usually workout in the morning and then do a ballet class. My routine is my meditation. It helps me stay grounded and focused on my goals as well as stay balanced mentally, emotionally and physically.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by my fellow artists of course. Dancers, actors, musicians, composers, directors, conductors, set designers, etc... all excelling and bettering themselves by honing in on their craft. I am also inspired by nature. I love going on long hikes with my husband and my dog because it's another form of mediation for me. Experiencing the wonder of nature not only takes my breathe away because it can be a workout, but it leaves me feeling like I'm a part of something bigger than myself.
Is there anything else you would like to share about yourself?
I have a passion for health and fitness and am a Certified Personal Trainer recognized by NASM; I love Rupaul's drag race; two of my favorite movies are Muriel's Wedding and Death Becomes Her; love any kind of "Onesie.” I own many.
To find out more about Jolina, please visit her at:
Website: Home | JolinaJavier
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