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Sofia Boutella was born on April 03, 1982. She’s French, of Algerian origin. Her father is Safy Boutella, the composer and recognized choreographer. She began studying classic dance in Algeria until her family moved to France when she was 10. She started doing sports gymnastics and she reached the championship of France at the age of 17.
Sofia became interested in hip-hop dance and because of her physical capacities she quickly took several “Battles de France” (hip hop tournaments).
She’s worked with Bianca Li, a famous choreographer who was the choreographer of Daft Punk’s video “Around the world”. From that point on everything started moving quickly. She had a part in the film “The Challenge” (“Le Defi” in French) in 2002 in which she played the role of Samia.
Then small roles followed in another French movie, “Permis d’Aimer” and the role of Lila in the television series, "Cordier, Juge et Flic”. She also did advertisments for Narta.
Sofia also danced with the VAGABON CREW and took part in a creation called “Chienne de Vie” and was a member of the Aphrodites troop created by Momo from the VAGABOND CREW.
Sofia's big breakthrough arrived later when the people at Nike decided to make her their icon for the female market with "Woman in Sport". Sofia's dancing put everyone on fire and got everybody talking about her thanks to the Nike advertisements which had caused a sensation around the world.
She worked with the choreographer Jamie King, been one of Madonna’s dancers where you can see her in the videos “Hung up” and “Sorry”. She also danced in Jamiroquai and Rihanna’s video and danced in the European tour of Mariah Carey.
The following is from an article in The Turkish Daily News
You want to be a professional dancer? Than you've got to act like one. You have to feel the tunes inside your body, you've got to feel like the rhythm will never stop.
Famous and young choreographers, dancers of the world feel like it and act like it… Nike's super attractive and wild looking girl Sophia Boutella, Madonna's dancer Kymberlee Jay and choreographer Super Dave were in Istanbul over the weekend for Nike's Dance Competition. They make art by using their body. It is impossible not to admire them when they dance.
The Nike dance competition gives young women an opportunity to become a professional dancer, especially the ones who can take their feet off the ground.
Hundreds of women applied for the competition from all around Turkey. The semi-finals of the competition took place in Ankara, Izmir and Istanbul. Six women from each city were chosen to attend the dance camp in Istanbul. They took dance classes on Sept. 13 and 14 in Mars Athletic Club and those 18 women, who made it to the finals, were following in the footsteps of the world-renowned dancers.
Jay, Boutella and Super Dave were brought to a dance studio on Friday morning at Kanyon's Mars Athletic Club. They all seemed a bit tired and jet-lagged. But it was obvious that they were not there to just do a job, they were there because they think they cannot live without dancing and they want to share the feeling with those 18 people.
The finals of the Nike Dance Competition was in Garajistanbul on Saturday. DJ V.L.A.D.E.R, who works with Beyoncé, brought the venue to life. The dancers performed at their best and in the first round nine of them were eliminated. The winners were Duygu Etikan from Istanbul, Esra Dokuzoglu from Ankara and Didem Dalgin from Izmir. The winners got the opportunity to be in a video of famous Turkish pop star Sertab Erener. And as soon as the competition was over the winners took off for filming the video for Erener. Sophia Boutella, who dances with many famous people, was in Turkey for the third time. She first visited Turkey three years ago with Nike on business. She said she hasn't seen much of Istanbul and only been to historic places. Boutella really likes Turkey because she thinks it reminds her of her own country, Algeria. She was one of the jury members. "I cannot judge any dancer before I practice with them," said Boutella. The beautiful and wild looking dancer, 25, is very passionate about dancing. When she was 17 she played in a French movie and that was when she decided she wants to continue acting, now she is taking acting classes in Los Angeles.
According to Boutella it is great to meet people from around the world and people who love dancing. "It is really good to bring my experience and get theirs. I get inspired every time I meet people. Besides people, the cities I visit inspire me as well. The more I travel I realize that they look to me like an example of the girl that did it. But I want to show them I am still like them, I am still trying to find myself and learn," said Boutella.
Dance is Boutella's best way of talking. "Every art is a way to express yourself and dancing is my way to express myself. I can show my feelings when I dance. Dance is the first art that I met," she said.
Madonna's dancer and choreographer Kymberlee Jay is also famous from the Nike advertisements. When she dances everyone seems to enjoy it because she is so talented. Jay is a daughter of a German mother and a Caribbean father. She is 26 but she definitely looks younger.
She first came to Turkey with her family on holiday. Since then she has been to Antalya, Izmir, Ankara and Istanbul for work with Nike. This is her fifth time here and she likes Izmir and Antalya the best. It was very interesting for her to see the women dancing with their soul without being trained. "To see all of them together, all 18 of them dancing together with their heart and soul felt really good, Turkish women have the talent of dancing," she said and added, "I tried belly dancing once."
She is also a presenter on the music channel MTV but she spends the majority of her time opening her studio in London. Jay teaches classes there and some other U.S choreography teachers come and teach in her studio as well. Jay doesn't want to perform on stage, instead she wants to focus on her own development and she wants to do choreography. Jay will be the choreographer for a girl group in the U.K., called Girls Aloud.
She thinks in Turkey there is not as much opportunity to dance as there is in the U.S. or Europe. She defines dance as her life. "I eat it, I sleep it, I breathe it, everything is about dance," Jay said. She studied chemistry, biology and math, and in university she studied biomedical science but none of those made her happy.
Choreographer Super Dave, who was in Turkey for the first time was amazed with the women who could dance to R&B and Hip Hop tunes because it is not a part of Turkish culture. Super Dave is the choreographer for Usher, P.Diddy and many other music stars.
Boutella, Jay and Super Dave came together for the first time and enjoyed teaching and dancing with Turkish women. It is clear that Nike will encourage more and more women around the world with its fascinating advertisements and dancers. Those who want to be a dancer don't have to wait for another competition, they need to start dancing and trust themselves. "Dancing is like dreaming with your feet!" said Constanze, the wife of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. So keep dreaming.
Sofia Boutella Video
Dance the Chakras
by Ana Brett & Ravi Singh