Biography

Sofia Boutella (born April 3, 1982) is an Algerian-French dancer, actress and musician, known mainly for hip-hop and street dance, known as the Nike Girl from Nike Women advertising campaigns. She starred in films such as StreetDance 2, Monsters: Dark Continent and Kingsman: The Secret Service.

 

Boutella was born in the Bab El Oued district of Algiers, the daughter of jazz musician Safy Boutella and an architect mother. She started classical dance education at the age of 5 and at the age of 10 in 1992 she left Algeria with her family, and moved to France, where she started rhythmic gymnastics, and joined the French national team at the age of 18.

 

Meanwhile, she had taken up hip hop and street dance, and was part of a group called the Vagabond Crew, which won the Battle of the Year in 2006. She also participated in a group called “Chienne de Vie and Aphrodites” created by Momo from the Vagabond Crew. Sofia is a graduate of Berklee College of Music.

 

At the same time, she had been rehearsing since the age of 17 with choreographer Blanca Li. She has danced in several film and TV appearances, as well as commercials and concert tours.

 

Her real breakthrough arrived in 2007, when she was picked for the Jamie King choreography for Nike, as a role model of femininity and hip hop.[ This was a major boost in her career and led to more work alongside stars like Madonna, in her Confessions Tour, and Rihanna.

 

She auditioned for the Michael Jackson This Is It concerts but, although successful, could not attend due to the extension of the Madonna tour whose dates coincided with the Jackson residency. In February 2011, she was the main character in the music video of “Hollywood Tonight”.

 

She recently played lead character Eva in the film StreetDance 2, the sequel to StreetDance 3D, and co-starred in Kingsman: The Secret Service.

 

Her influences include Fred Astaire, Karim Barouche, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Bob Fosse.