UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis goes viral for routine honouring Black culture

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Olivia Petter
·2 min read
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 (UCLA Gymnastics)
(UCLA Gymnastics)

The UCLA gymnastics team is renowned for its impressive students, whose routines often go viral on social media.

Now, rising gymnast Nia Dennis, who previously made headlines for her Beyoncé-themed floor routine, has garnered widespread praise for her latest routine dedicated to celebrating black culture.

In the routine, Dennis opens by performing to Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA" and goes on to see her flipping and dancing to music by Beyoncé, Missy Elliott, Soulja Boy, Megan Thee Stallion and Tupac Shakur.

Speaking to Los Angeles Daily News, the 21-year-old explained how the routine was all about exploring her identity.

"This routine definitely reflects everything that I am today as a woman,” she said.

"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.”

On Twitter, a clip of Dennis’s routine has been liked more than 34,000 times and garnered 7,400 retweets.

“The mix in of all the disciplines and music is fantastic. Gives a reason for everyone to love this amazing piece,” tweeted one person in response.

“She is amazing and she looks like she is having so much fun!!” another added. “And I LOVE hearing her teammates cheer her on. As a former college (just for fun, not super competitive) athlete, being a part of a supportive team shaped me for the rest of my life! Love this!”

In February last year, Dennis earned praise for her floor routine to Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love”, which saw her team at UCLA place third in a competition in Westwood, Texas.

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