Watch Nia Dennis’ Latest Viral Gymnastics Routine That’s All About “Black Excellence”

We've just been watching it on repeat, because it's *that* good.

We may not have had the Olympics this past summer, but college gymnast Nia Dennis’ floor routine is certainly deserving of a gold medal. Over the weekend, Dennis, a senior at the University of California Los Angeles, earned a whopping 9.950/10 for her “Black Excellence” floor routine against Arizona State. The 21-year-old has the technique and makings of an Olympic athlete, but it was her celebration of Black culture that struck gymnastic fans and social media.

This routine definitely reflects everything that I am today as a woman, Dennis shared in an interview with Los Angeles Daily News, continuing 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.

Her floor routine coined “#blackexcellence” highlighted music from Missy Elliott, Soulja Boy, Kendrick Lamar, Tupac Shakur, Megan Thee Stallion, and Beyoncé. If you’re as mesmerized as we are, you’ve probably watched the routine a million times by now, but just for good measure, please enjoy.

Sports broadcasters and her fellow UCLA teammates aren’t the only ones congratulating Dennis on her near-perfect routine. Since performing, Dennis’ fanbase has grown exponentially, including praise from celebrities and Olympic gymnasts. 

On Twitter, five-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles retweeted Dennis’ performance saying, “Okay @DennisNia do the damn thing girl; this was so fun to watch! keep killing it!” Even Elliott got in on the action commenting “Snappin” with a fire emoji on the UCLA gymnastics Twitter page.

However, this isn’t the first time one of Dennis’ floor routines has gone viral. Last year, The Undefeated tweeted Dennis’ floor routine, which was set to a medley of Beyoncé songs.

And yet again, we can’t stop watching. Her Beyoncé-inspired routine earned her a 9.975/10.

If anyone is familiar with the perks of going viral, it’s college gymnast Dennis. Her 2020 performance received a shout-out from none other than Grammy award-winning artist Alicia Keys. (Yep, you read that right.)

She tweeted, “Look at this unstoppable power and confidence!! Was just talking about how nothing gives you more power then being yourself! Shine @DennisNia, I’m inspired!!” with the video of Dennis’ Beyoncé routine.

But, it get’s better. In addition to a personalized tweet from Keys, now Vice President Kamala Harris also tweeted at Dennis for “ending #BlackHistoryMonth the right way.”

@DennisNia is ending #BlackHistoryMonth the right way―by showcasing her Black excellence. Beyoncé herself would be proud

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Dennis is on a straight path to victory both on the floor and in school.

In 2019, she went first-team all-American on bars and is a four-time all Pac 12 honoree. According to her UCLA gymnastics profile, she held a spot on the U.S. National Team for two years, from 2013 to 2015.

A current senior, she’s studying sociology with hopes of becoming a physical therapist, a career goal that’s most likely been shaped by her own experiences in the sport. Her biggest inspirations are Kobe Bryant and Sydney McLaughlin.

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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