UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis celebrates “Black Excellence” in floor routine that went viral

UCLA Gymnastics scored a major victory over the weekend with a season-opening win against Arizona State that included a floor routine from Nia Dennis that went viral. The Bruins star was nearly flawless in her routine celebrating “Black Excellence,” scoring a 9.95 out of 10.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Daily News, Dennis said the routine was as much a mission statement as it was a reflection of those who came before. “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 newspaper.

This is what #blackexcellence looks like. @DennisNia does it again! 🔥

📹 @Pac12Network pic.twitter.com/2vxgyTvUCG

The stepping in Dennis’ routine was an homage to her father, Casey, who stepped in college while involved in Greek life. The closing song — Tupac’s “California Love” — was a shoutout to Los Angeles. Dennis stepped to Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA,” a song in which the rapper contemplates his heritage and culture from multiple viewpoints.

The routine also included Soulja Boy’s breakout hit “Crank That.”

The multi-faceted routine marks the second time Dennis has gone viral as a gymnast. Last year, she performed a Beyonce-inspired floor routine set to “Crazy In Love,” “Lose My Breath,” and “Ego.” It wowed the judges, earning her a 9.975 out of 10.

She even appeared on “The Ellen Show,” where host Ellen Degeneres told Dennis that Beyonce loved the performance.

According to her UCLA biography, Dennis, a senior, is majoring in sociology and hopes to become a physical therapist.

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