meet-ucla-gymnast-nia-dennis,-who-went-viral-after-new-floor-routine

A UCLA gymnast has wowed millions of people when again after her floor regular celebrating “Black quality” went viral.

Nia Dennis’ mind-blowing flooring workout at a Pac-12 competitors recently has gathered more than 10 million views on Twitter. The 21- year-old Bruins senior– who also went viral for her BeyoncĂ©-themed routine in 2020– performed to a mashup of music by Black artists, including BeyoncĂ©, Missy Elliott, Kendrick Lamar and Tupac Shakur. The gymnast received an almost-perfect rating of 9.95

Dennis began her regular by taking a knee while raising her fist in the air, a homage to the demonstration movement led by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. She included viral dances like the woah and the breeze, along with stepping, a custom typically performed by Black fraternities and sororities.

Nia Dennis performs throughout the UCLA Women’s Gymnastics versus the Arizona State University Sun Devils at Pauley Structure in Los Angeles on Jan. 23, 2021. Don Liebig/ Courtesy UCLA Sports

Dennis’ dad, who remained in a Black fraternity, sent her a video of him stepping while they were picking the choreography due to the fact that Dennis wished to commemorate him in her performance.

” Growing up, my daddy was always actioning in your house,” she informed NBC News. “I’m so happy that I was really able to take this time, this year– my senior year– to honor him.”

Now, people throughout social media continue to applaud the regimen. It has received shoutouts from celebs such as record-setting U.S. gymnast Simone Biles, hip-hop star Missy Elliott and previous very first woman Michelle Obama.

Dennis stated she values the favorable recognition and understands the value of incorporating her identity and culture into her routines.

” Credibility is so huge and something I value so greatly,” she stated. “And, you understand, when you’re the best variation of yourself, the best product is going to come out.”

While she likes her sport, Dennis confessed she had a tough time maturing without good example that mirrored her design or identity.

Nia Dennis carries out during the UCLA Women’s Gymnastics versus the Arizona State University Sun Devils at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles on Jan. 23, 2021. Courtesy UCLA Sports

” It was really challenging, and particularly when you have your coaches telling you that you do not look good or you’re not in shape because you do not fit into those typical styles of gymnastics, which is so cookie-cutter,” she shared. “Black gymnasts are sort of uncommon in the sport of gymnastics. And Black culture is not actually acknowledged or understood in the sport of gymnastics, so it was truly important to me to bring that into the light of gymnastics– to raise awareness of Black culture.”

As for what the future holds for the university student, Dennis intends to make her sport more inclusive.

” I absolutely will be operating in the future to guarantee that there is a possibility for all young professional athletes to do any sport and have the exact same equal opportunity to do so,” she stated.

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Cynthia Silva

Cynthia Silva composes for NBC Asian America, NBCBLK, NBC Latino and NBC Out.

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