UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis stuns in viral routine

Dennis' floor routine from Saturday's competition featured a mix of records by Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Kendrick Lamar and Tupac Shakur.

A Black gymnast has gone viral for her amazing recent floor routine that honors Black culture creators. 

Nia Dennis started with Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA,” which went into a mix of records by Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Soulja Boy, Megan Thee Stallion, then wrapped up with some “California Love” by Tupac Shakur. 

UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis competes on the uneven parallel bars during a 2019 meet against Stanford at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)

The song mix was completely appropriate for her college, UCLA, and Dennis told The Los Angeles Daily News that the routine reflects “everything that I am today as a woman.” 

“And, of course, I had to incorporate a lot of parts of my culture” she said. “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 routine was part of the team’s winning performance Saturday at the Pac-12 women’s gymnastics meet pitting UCLA against Arizona State. The Bruins’ gymnastic team tweeted out Dennis’ on-the-floor wizardry early Sunday, and it quickly went viral. The clip had over 40 million views in less than 24 hours. 

The 21-year-old Dennis is from Columbus, Ohio. HITC notes that her parents, “Casey and Deetra, saw the gymnastics potential in her when she was young because she was always playing around on monkey bars.” 

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This is Dennis’ second time going viral for an outstanding floor routine. Last year, she performed an electrifying routine to a mashup of Beyoncé songs. That performance was celebrated by celebrities, including now-Vice President Kamala Harris. 

Dennis earned a 9.95 score for her routine this weekend, helping to lead her team to a victory. The senior was cheered on by her coaches and teammates, making the video even more fun. 

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Renowned Olympic and World Championship gymnast Simone Biles saluted Dennis’ performance on Twitter, saying, “okay @DennisNia do the damn thing girl ? this was so fun to watch! keep killing it!” 

Another fan wrote: “May all Black Women go into this week with the energy and confidence of Nia Dennis as she does a floor routine.” 

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