UCLA gymnast goes viral

World erupts over viral gymnast routine

American gymnast Nia Dennis has once again broken the internet with an "incredible" floor routine which has registered more than 9.7 million views on Twitter.

Dennis first went viral in February last year when she pulled off an entertaining performance to a mashup of Beyonce songs.

But the 21-year-old phenom has done it again, footage of her latest routine gaining plenty of traction on social media channels.

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After taking a knee and raising a fist, Dennis' performance opened with Kendrick Lamar's 2017 hit single ,Be Humble. It also featured music from Missy Elliott, Soulja Boy, Megan Thee Stallion and Tupac Shakur.

Not only are the tumbling passes perfectly-executed, but Dennis also incorporated plenty of dance moves inspired by Black culture.

The UCLA Gymnastics Twitter account shared the video on Monday with the caption: "This is what #blackexcellence looks like."

The routine has caught the attention of countless celebrities, including American rapper Missy Elliott.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama also shared the video to her 19.8 million Twitter followers, posting: "Now that's what I call fierce! You're a star @DennisNia!"

Olympic champion Simone Biles wrote on Twitter: "Okay @DennisNia do the damn thing girl. This was so fun to watch! Keep killing it!"

ESPN host Katie Nolan commented: "Gymnastics looks so much more fun now than it did when I was a kid. I went into rhythmic gymnastics because I didn't feel like artistic gymnastics let you DANCE enough. And the establishment (then, at least) wanted to keep it that way. So this? Absolutely rules."

 

Speaking to The Lily's Caroline Kitchener, Dennis revealed the performance was largely inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

"The whole thing, literally everything, is Black culture," Dennis said.

"I wanted it to be a celebration of everything (Black people) can do, everything we can overcome.

"Every single song is a major Black artist, musician, from different time periods. They had a huge impact on Black culture, which has also had a huge impact on me. So I'm just literally celebrating what they've done and having the time of my life."

As reported by Self, there's also a tribute to her father in the routine, with a stepping sequence paying homage to Black fraternities and sororities.

"I wanted to give a tribute to my father. He was in fraternities, and stepping is really big," Dennis told reporters after Sunday's competition.

"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. 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."

American gymnast Nia Dennis has gone viral once again.
American gymnast Nia Dennis has gone viral once again.

Dennis' floor exercise routine earned the UCLA senior a near-perfect score of 9.95, which helped the Bruins clinch victory over the Arizona State Wildcats in their season-opening competition on the weekend.

She is no stranger to the spotlight, having represented the nation in 2014 at the age of 15.

The Olympic hopeful was ranked 18th in the United States on the floor exercise at the end of 2020, and recently underwent shoulder injury to fix a shredded labrum.

- with Andrew McMurtry

 

Originally published as World erupts over viral gymnast routine


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