UCLA gymnast, Nia Dennis is gaining the internet sensation once again, thanks to her captivating floor routine. Her sensational floor routine set with a medley of songs by Beyoncé, Missy Elliot, Megan Thee Stallion, Kendrick Lamar, and other influential Black artists went viral last week, with millions of people praising the gymnast for her breathtaking performance.
A video posted by UCLA Gymnastics’ Twitter account was viewed beyond nine million times. Her outstanding performance helped UCLA achieve a 196.150-195.950 victory over Arizona State.
This is not the first time the UCLA gymnast has gone viral for her performances. The 21-year-old Bruins senior – also went viral for her Beyonce-inspired routine in 2020 and earned her a score of 9.975.
Dennis dedicated her 2021 gymnastics performance to the Black Lives Matter protests. Beginning her routine by taking a knee with her fist in the air to pay homage, incorporating viral dances like the woah and the snap. Also, Dennis wanted to pay tribute to her father in her performance and included stepping, which is a tradition often performances by Black fraternities and sororities.
“I had to… for the culture,” the 21-year-old wrote on Instagram.
“This routine definitely reflects everything that I am today as a woman,” Dennis told the Los Angeles Daily News, “and of course I had to incorporate a lot of parts of my culture. I wanted to have a dance party because that’s my personality and of course I had to shout out LA because we out here, UCLA.”
The continuous praising of the routine is seen across all social media platforms. It has received compliments from celebrities such as U.S. gymnast Simone Biles, hip-hop legend Missy Elliot, and former First Lady Michelle Obama.
The phenomenal gymnast appreciates all the positive recognition and understands the importance of incorporating her identity and culture into her routines. Hopefully, VALLEY gets to see her dazzling performances in the Olympics someday!