Rosa María “Rosie” Pérez (born September 6, 1964) is an American actress, dancer, choreographer, director, and community activist.
Pérez was born in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Bushwick to Puerto Rican parents. Her mother Lydia Pérez (née Fontañez), a singer, was married to Ventura Pérez at the time of Rosie’s birth. However, Rosie’s biological father is Ismael Serrano, a Merchant Marine with whom her mother had had an affair. Much of her young life was spent in foster care. She attended Grover Cleveland High School in Queens, New York and a community college in Los Angeles.
Pérez started her career in the late 1980s as a dancer on Soul Train and has choreographed music videos by Janet Jackson, Bobby Brown, Diana Ross, LL Cool J and The Boys. She was the choreographer for the dancing group the Fly Girls who were featured on every performance of In Living Color. She was noticed in a dance club by Spike Lee in 1988, who hired her for her first major acting role in Do the Right Thing.