Nia Dennis Took the Internet by Storm 2 Years in a Row — Check Out More of Her Stellar Routines
NCAA gymnastics is a world of perfect 10s, team spirit, and crowd-pleasing floor routines that, on occasion, go massively viral. UCLA senior Nia Dennis has twice lit up the internet with powerhouse performances that paid homage to Black music and culture.
Dennis's 2020 routine was sheer "Black Excellence," as now-VP Kamala Harris tweeted — with Beyoncé songs and fierce moves that were a nod to the artist's Homecoming documentary. "Last year, I was going for a majorettes Beyoncé vibe," Dennis told People, referencing HBCU dancelines.
Dennis, who has said that Black culture in gymnastics is "heavily overlooked," debuted another dynamic tribute in 2021, this time with a mashup of hits from artists like Kendrick Lamar and Missy Elliott. In her current floor routine, choreographed by professional dancer BJ Das, Dennis kneeled and raised a fist in the air evoking the Black Lives Matter protests, and she also included a step sequence in honor of her father who was a member of a Black fraternity in college.
Before UCLA, the Ohio native was an elite gymnast. She spent time on both the senior and junior national teams and finished first all around for her division at the 2017 Women's Junior Olympic National Championships. Ahead, check out Dennis in all her glory. You'll find her viral routines (in case you missed them), more UCLA greatness, as well as performances from her pre-college gymnastics career. She rocks it on floor, but she shines on all four events!
Nia Dennis's Viral 2021 Floor Routine For UCLA
Fun, fierce, and fearless! We could watch this 100 times (spoiler alert: we already have).
Nia Dennis's Viral 2020 Floor Routine For UCLA
Beyoncé would be proud!
Nia Dennis's 2019 Floor Routine For UCLA
Dennis places an imaginary crown on her head in this routine from 2019, too! It's her signature move.
Nia Dennis's 2018 Floor Routine For UCLA
This is Dennis's freshman-year floor routine for UCLA. She lit up the floor then, and she lights up the floor now. Check out that high-flying full-in (a full-twisting double backflip) as her opening tumbling pass!
Nia Dennis's 2019 Bar Routine For UCLA
Dennis scored a 9.900 for this routine at the 2019 Pac-12 Women's Gymnastics Championships. She almost stuck that double layout dismount, but her performance was just shy of perfect!
Nia Dennis's 2019 Beam Routine For UCLA
Dennis is awesome to watch on beam as well. This routine scored a near-perfect 9.975! She's rock solid, places an imaginary crown on her head in her choreography, and finishes strong.
Nia Dennis's 2021 Vault For UCLA
Dennis has power and precision with this full-twisting Yurchenko vault.
Nia Dennis's Bar Routine at the 2014 Secret US Classic
Let's rewind to Dennis's pre-UCLA years where she competed on the elite level — she received a 14.450 here. As a reminder, college gymnastics is scored out of a traditional 10.00, while competitions on the elite level are scored higher with a combined mark of difficulty and execution.
Nia Dennis's Beam Routine at the 2015 P&G Championships
Dennis barely wobbled in this beam routine from the P&G Championships six years ago. She tied for fourth place.
Nia Dennis's Floor Routine at the 2015 P&G Championships
As you can see, Dennis's floor routine on the elite level was jam-packed with difficult skills (though her collegiate routines are still impressive!). Specifically, she does four tumbling passes total instead of the typical three passes done in collegiate floor routines. She rocked it, opening up with a massive double layout!