Nia Dennis’ ‘Black Excellence’ routine brings internet to its knees, again

Gymnast Nia Dennis goes viral again

Nia Dennis performs the floor exercise during UCLA Gymnastics Meet the Bruins intra squad event at Pauley Pavilion on December 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
(Image credit: Getty/Jayne Kamin-Oncea)

While we've spent the last few months getting to grips with the best resistance bands, Nia Dennis has taken athleticism to a whole new level by shaking things up at this year's UCLA gymnastics competition, scoring a perfect 9.95! 

Tapping into her heritage, she performed the perfect routine alongside tunes by artists such as Missy Elliott and hip-hop king Tupac Shakur.

The UCLA senior performed a joyful floor routine composed of African American culture, which has drawn millions of social media views over the past week. 

Stars like Simone Biles (currently the world's greatest gymnast) paid homage to Dennis on Twitter saying: “Okay do the damn thing girl this was so fun to watch! keep killing it! @DennisNia."

Michelle Obama also came through with some words of praise, retweeting the viral post and captioning it: "Now that’s what I call fierce! You’re a star! @DennisNia ⭐️👏🏿”

One user replied to Nia's video: “It’s the early 2000’s music for me. I freaking love her!! She better get her perfect 10!”  

Nia paid special tribute to her father, who watched in awe from the sidelines, and ensured she included his college fraternity by incorporating stepping and saluting to their home state by doing the C-walk to Tupac's California Love.

Nia told the Los Angeles Times: “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."

The routine is about so much more than a perfect score or a win, though – it's also about self-expression. Nia’s routine is a powerful tribute to Black Excellence and a motivator for the entire Black community.

Nia’s first taste of fame was last winter, when she earned herself a 9.95 score for her floor routine to a medley of Beyoncé songs. Ellen DeGeneres went on to invite her to perform a condensed version of the routine on her show last March. 

An Olympic hopeful who spent years on the US national team earning a Pacific Rim Championship gold medal, we can't wait to see what Nia will do next!

Kudzai Chibaduki

Since December 2020, Kudzai has worked as a trainee journalist at FUTURE, writing about fashion, entertainment and beauty content for My Imperfect Life.

Kudzai previously worked as a freelance fashion wardrobe stylist, directing magazine photoshoots and coordinating the fashion direction of recording artists. A fully qualified Journalism and Media graduate from De Mont Fort University, Kudzai graduated in the summer of 2020.