Who is Nia Dennis? The gymnast went viral for her routine celebrating Black culture

Nia Dennis is a collegiate artistic gymnast, member of the UCLA Bruins women’s gymnastics team and was a member of the USA National Team from 2012 to 2016.

Dennis is a star athlete, of course, but she’s also famous for using her incredible abilities to highlight and celebrate Black culture. 

She’s had an impressive gymnastics career so far.

Dennis has won two gold medals in the NCAA and Pacific Rim Championships.

In 2016, she was the only US female participant selected at the 2016 Stuttgart FIG World Cup (although she couldn’t go after tearing her ACL).

The 21-year-old always had a natural talent for acrobatics it seemed and has been a gymnast since 2010. 

“My parents said that when I was young I would always play around on the monkey bars. They suggested that I get started in gymnastics,” Dennis told USA Gym

She first gained widespread fame for her Beyonce-inspired routine in 2020.

On Feb. 27, 2020 the UCLA Gymnastics Twitter account shared a video of Dennis’s routine scored to Beyonce’s “Ego” and “Crazy in Love.”

Dennis received a score of 9.975 and became a viral sensation. The video has since gotten 15.5 million views. 

“I am overwhelmed with happiness and joy, thank you, everyone, for such positive messages, it means the world to me to have your support. This is so surreal I can’t even believe it!” Dennis tweeted.

She most recently went viral for her routine paying tribute to Black culture.

On Jan. 24, 2021, Dennis brought #BlackExcellence again with another viral routine featuring a mashup of Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce, Missy Elliot, Soulja Boy, Megan Thee Stallion and Tupac. 

“This routine definitely reflects everything that I am today as a woman,” Dennis told the Los Angeles Daily News. “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 L.A. because we out here, UCLA.”

If you enjoyed this story, check out Khadi Don’s iconic comedy videos.

More from In The Know:

Nyma Tang is championing representation and inclusion in the makeup industry

Shop our favorite beauty products from In The Know Beauty on TikTok

11 healthy road trip snacks and where to get them for cheap

6 gift ideas for the person who has everything

Listen to the latest episode of our pop culture podcast, We Should Talk: