Ramirez was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. 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.
She was Callisto, one of The Omegas, in the comic book film X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).
She went on to star in The 5th Commandment in 2008, a film written by and starring Rick Yune.
In 2012, Ramirez appeared in two films, playing Selena in American Reunion, and a bicycle messenger in Premium Rush.
She was a guest judge on episode 5 of Cycle 14 of America's Next Top Model.
“Dania Ramirez will be playing a different version of Cinderella,” Kitsis said.
“If we remember Henry’s grandfather is Prince Charming, so we have the grandson of Prince Charming with a new Cinderella.” Her story will take place in modern-day Seattle, with flashbacks to the Enchanted Forest.
Ramirez has also appeared in Wisin & Yandel's music video "Dime Que Te Paso", in which she played the main character, the wife and mother of a military man at war in Iraq who finds out her husband died at war.
She was also featured in hip-hop group Sporty Thievz video "Cheapskate" back in 1998.
I think, for me, that was the most exciting part of the journey, to know that I was going to be a part of this universal story.” “It didn’t matter where I was from or what I looked like,” she said.