A couple of years ago, Katelyn Ohashi broke the Internet with a flawless floor routine. She set the gold standard for viral success, and everyone has been trying to duplicate it ever since. One of her former college teammates followed the recipe and is now making a name for herself in the exact same way.
Back in February 2020, it was time for the world to meet UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis. She had just celebrated her 21st birthday and was living her best life during her junior gymnastics season. She had performed well in the past, but perhaps nothing held a candle to the Beyonce-themed floor exercise she performed at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles.
Using a medley of Beyonce and Destiny’s Child songs “Ego,” “Crazy in Love,” and “Lose My Breath,” the Bruins star instantly became famous with her amazing homecoming performance.
UCLA’s Nia Dennis Beyonce Floor Routine
Although she didn’t receive a perfect score — she received a stellar 9.975 — that hasn’t stopped outpouring love and support on social media. The gymnastics routine video shared by UCLA Gymnastics has over nine million views, and she’s been called out by celebrities left and right.
From U.S. Senator (now Vice President) Kamala Harris to singer Alicia Keys and actress Gabrielle Union, Dennis is getting an incredible reaction like Ohashi did last year. It was also shared by ESPN, the Pac-12 Network and featured on Good Morning America.
“Look at this unstoppable power and confidence,” Alicia Keys wrote in a tweet. “Was just talking about how nothing gives you more power then being yourself! Shine @DennisNia, I’m inspired!!
@DennisNia is ending #BlackHistoryMonth the right way―by showcasing her Black excellence,” Kamala Harris posted. “Beyoncé herself would be proud.”
The Queen Bey mashup and performance was truly next level and one of the best performances of the entire NCAA season.
Wouldn’t you know, she would go viral again.
Nia Dennis’ “Black Excellence” Viral Routine
After a long wait to return due to the pandemic, UCLA Gymnastics star Nia Dennis is officially back and she wasted absolutely no time going viral once again.
In the season opener against Arizona State, Dennis delivered an iconic performance that scored 9.95 out of 10.
Dennis’ routine celebrating “Black Excellence” was incredible, and showcased viral moves to black artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce, Soulja Boy, Missy Elliott, Megan Thee Stallion, and the late Tupac Shakur.
From “DNA” to “California Love” and every song in between, Nia Dennis showcased why she’s a star during her first time back on the mat. Elliott even called it “Snappin” on social media.
“This routine definitely reflects everything that I am today as a woman, and of course I had to incorporate a lot of parts of my culture,” Dennis told the Los Angeles Daily News. “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.”
Olympic star gymnast Simone Biles also loved the routine, writing “okay @DennisNia do the damn thing girl this was so fun to watch! keep killing it!” on social media.
This routine might not have gone as viral as the Bernie Sanders meme from the Joe Biden inauguration, but it should. It’s that impressive.
This post was originally published on March 2, 2020, and updated after her viral performance against Arizona State.