Nora Fatehi and her nuanced flight into the world of dancing magic

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She is celebrated for her many scintillating dance moves in some of the smashing hits that Bollywood has delivered over the last couple of years. But there is more to Nora Fatehi than being just a dancer- and an item dancer at that. Even then however, there’s no taking anything away from the gorgeous diva who has held a whole nation enthralled with her exemplary moves and sensuous appeal in each of the songs she has performed. Be it foot tapping remixes of evergreen numbers like Dilbar and Saki Saki or the mellow musical outing Pachtaoge with Vicky Kaushal, the Street Dancer 3D actor has danced her way into the hearts of millions of her enthusiasts and fans. And why just Bollywood, Nora’s dancing finesse has also made her a recurring phenomenon in Tollywood, having delivered some equally amazing performances down south in the country.

Yet, despite an identity spanning the lengths and breadths of the country, Nora Fatehi is an Indian only ‘at heart’. Born in Canada to a Moroccan family, the lady of multicultural origin has been calling India her home for the past many years. And like many others who seek their high rising dreams in the entrances of the challenging but benevolent Indian entertainment industry, Fatehi too has seen her life take shape in the country she so reveres as her very own. Especially for someone constrained to pursue her dreams not just by means of resources but also familial restrictions, the journey has been nothing short of a dream for this young woman who still likes to see life in all its positives.

In her many amazing dance moves and graceful postures, it’s difficult to believe that despite all her perfection, Nora Fatehi’s dancing sensibilities stem entirely of her own. Hailing from a conservative Arab family, the arts and the like may have been forbidden for her in her younger days but she was never unknown to it. In fact, hers is a culture where belly dancing is a particularly common form of art which is perhaps why Fatehi so aces the twerks every single time even without any formal training whatsoever. A self taught dancer, whose only source of learning has been dancing videos on the web, Fatehi indeed has made it big in the true millennial style. For someone who raves about dancing divas like Helen and Madhuri Dixit, it however is only natural that Nora Fatehi would so come to embody the graciousness of the art in all her dreamy determination. Always inclined to such pursuits as dancing and acting while in school, Nora pusued it all dedicatedly, undeterred even by the brief period of time in life when she had to let her dreams take the backseat. Having had to shoulder familial responsibilities, Nora found herself taking on a number of odd jobs. From working as a telemarketing customer service representative to working in a restaurant as a waitress, a bartender, at hookah cafes, selling lottery tickets, and even at McDonald’s, Nora sure has come a long way in her infinite zeal as an artiste.

Her foray in India sure yielded success for Fatehi but even then her initial experience here wasn’t exactly smooth. Starring in an ad in the very first month of landing in India, things seem to have panned out quite easy for this talented lady. But it is only something attributable to her poise and dignity that Nora Fatehi remains so much the radiant, good hearted person even after numerous trysts with bullying and xenophobia. From having her passport stolen by her flatmates to being ridiculed for her inability to speak fluently in Hindi even with a mother who is half Indian to being duped of her money by a casting agency, Nora has been party to even the bads of Bollywood. That however has not made her any less appreciative of all the admiration and adulation she has been showered with by fans and followers alike that has seen her making records with her songs. Dilbar for instance has been the first Hindi song to have garnered some 20 million views on YouTube in just the first 24 hours of its release. Even as the most followed Moroccan artiste on social media in the world, with a whopping 15 million Instagram followers, Fatehi has been working her way up to a league of her own.

Born Naura Fathi on February 6, 1992 in Montreal, Canada, the 28 year old stunner made her Bollywood debut with the 2014 film Roar: Tigers of the Sunderbans. But it wasn’t until some couple of years later that Fatehi had the world sit up and taking notice of her phenomenal talent. Even in being an actor herself, Fatehi is most known for her dancing credibilities, having starred in hits not just in Hindi films but also in the all time Telugu hit Baahubali. As she continued her way through the alleys of the entertainment industry in India, Nora Fatehi soon found herself sitting on the lofty heights of a pedestal she once dreamt of making her comfort zone.

But to say that Fatehi’s rise to fame is solely attributable to her dancing skills would be wrong. That, at least in some part, is attributable also to her stint on television, that has seen her as an enthusiastic participant in a couple of reality shows. While prominent among them is her dance journey on dancing show Jhalak Dikhla Jaa in its ninth season, it is however Nora Fatehi’s participation in Big Boss, also in its ninth season, that made her a popular celebrity face much before her dancing entourage took off. Beyond that though, it indeed is dancing from which stems most of Nora’s recognition and adulation, even when she is equally proficient in acrobatics and mixed martial arts again without any formal training. Less famously however, Nora’s exploits in dancing at the time when she kind of started out with Dilbar had an unexpected factor spurring her passion. An unlikely breakup with then boyfriend Angad Bedi reignited the fire in her to prove her worth. And prove she did. In churning out such chartbusting item numbers that had the remixed songs take on a different life of their own, Fatehi grooved in an aura exclusive to her own. Not just that, even in her rather short stint, Fatehi also became the first ever Bollywood artist to perform at the L’Olympia Bruno Coquatrix. For a performance arena as monumental as the the L’Olympia that has seen international sensations like Madonna, The Beatles, Taylor Swift, Janet Jackson and many more iconic singers belt out iconic performances to have seen a rather unheralded Nora Fatehi take to the stage in her sassy display of fusion Indian and Arabic dance moves over a whole lot of seasoned entertainers itself speaks volumes about the zesty lady’s belief in herself and her desire to express herself as a true artiste. Even in her few but flamboyant item song appearances, Fatehi has remained true to her spirit of delivering dance performances that can enthrall in true artistic fashion, without decimating them to mere shows of skin and flesh. Another of her artistic ventures has seen Fatehi mark another of the firsts in Bollywood. In collaborating with Afro artist Marcelo Pedrozo for the song to which she has also lent her voice, Nora Fatehi continues to shine in a spotlight perhaps uniquely reserved for her boundless soul. It only is an outcome of her sheer talent honed by dedicated perseverance and a buoyant attitude that has made Nora the acclaimed dancing queen that she is today. For someone afraid of rejection, to have upped the ante for herself so much that applause is the only thing that follows her wherever she goes in that dancing gait, Nora Fatehi sure is the rosy version of reality living a dream.

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