Sofia Boutella was born on April 6, 1982 in Bab el Qued, the capital of Algeria. At the age of 5, the daughter of singer/songwriter Safy Boutella begins her classical dance education. Five years later, she and her family move to France, where she starts G.R.S (rhytmical gymnastics), earning herself a spot in the national team for the Olympics at age 18. Blessed with exceptional strength and flexibility she gets interested in break dance. It is only a matter of time before Sofia dominates some of France’s greatest battles and receives fame by winning the battle of Saint-Denis. Sport becomes very important to her, she also takes up swimming and at 17 she begins her education at a sports academy. While performing a freestyle dance session in Los Angeles, she attracts the attention of Bianca Li (choreographer of Daft Punk’s video: around the world) and Sofia lands her first movie role as David’s girlfriend ‘Samia’ in ‘The Challenge’ (‘Le défi, fr., 2002). Le Défi is a musical comedy, inspired by the great American tradition and is set in today’s world of France’s Hip Hop movement. This very strong cultural identity, different from the US model allows Bianca Li and her dancers to give an original
point of view on today’s melting pot of French urban youngsters.
After le défi she does two more films: ‘Azur et Asmar’ (2004, voice-over) and ‘Permis d’aimer’ (2005) and appears on a few TV-series: ‘Cordier, juge et flic’ (2004) and ‘Malika’. She appears in several MTV music videos and does modelling work for female sporting gear and beauty products (Puma, Narta, Reebok, Adidas, Nike,…)
After joining the ‘Vagabond crew’ and its’ spin-off team called ‘Aphrodites troop’ , Sofia’s dance career takes a high spin in 2005 as she makes her international debut! The world gets to know her and her hiphop moves through Nike women’s 2005 advertising campaign: ‘Take Sport, add Music’… a one minute during commercial that is entirely dedicated to Sofia. In this Nike campaign, targeting young women in Europe, she demonstrates a fusion of break-dance, hip-hop and freestyle. Within seconds she convinces every one of her amazing talent and the public is dying to find out more about her.
She joins up with choreographer Jamie King who mentors Sofia in Nike’s next two commercials: ‘the Nike Rockstar Work-out’ and ‘Gear Up & Dance’. Sofia’s popularity is higher then ever as she travels trough Europe with the Rockstar Workout. Jamie introduces her to Madonna where she gets roles in Madonna’s next two MTV video clips: ‘Hung Up’ and ‘Sorry’. From May 21 ‘till September 21, 2006, Sofia gets to travel around the world with Madonna’s Confessions tour. As part of the Confessions-crew, she has the opportunity to be a part of the ‘Madonna for H&M’ campaign, appearing on billboards all over the world for this International clothing brand.
In 2007 Nike dedicates an exclusive online 6-episode biography titled: ‘You are your own limit’. Every month the audience is treated to a clip where Sofia reveals an episode of her life. She takes the viewers on a journey from Paris to Hollywood, sharing her favourite spots while introducing her friends and family.
Sofia becomes one of the hottest dancers in the industry, and in 2009 she auditions for a spot in the ‘‘This is It Tour’. She convinces her role model, Michael Jackson, to hire her for his series of 50 concerts to be held at the O² Arena in London. But unfortunately, Sofia is still under contract for ‘Madonna’s Confessions Tour’ which is travelling through Europe and she can’t get out of it, ultimately missing out on the experience. (note: Michael Jackson died less than three weeks before the first concert date). In 2011, Sofia pays homage to the King of Pop in his posthumous video ‘Hollywood Tonight’ which paints the story of a young, ambitious girl trying to make it in Hollywood without being swallowed by its trappings and illusions.
This year (2012), Sofia will make it to the big screen as she lands herself a movie role in the sequel to the U.K box office dance smash ‘Streetdance 2 3D’. Shooting began from the beginning of June 2011 and was shot on location throughout Europe. Sofia will play the main character ‘Eva’. (release date: spring 2012).Sources: