7 Things to Know About Nia Dennis, the UCLA Gymnast Behind That Viral Floor Routine

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The routine struck Alicia Keys, who tweeted on the time, “Have a look at this unstoppable energy and confidence!! Was simply speaking about how nothing provides you extra energy then being your self! Shine @DennisNia, I am impressed!!” 

Now-Vice President Kamala Harris additionally recommended the gymnast. “@DennisNia is ending #BlackHistoryMonth the suitable method―by showcasing her Black excellence,” Harris wrote on Twitter. “Beyoncé herself could be proud.” 

Gabrielle Union put it extra succinctly on Twitter: “REPRESENT!!!!!!!” 

3. Ground isn’t the one occasion Dennis dominates.

Did we point out that Dennis additionally gained first place on the vault this weekend? Take a look at that brief however candy victory on YouTube

Dennis’s UCLA bio says the vault is her favourite equipment. That’s to not say she struggles in different classes, although—Dennis is an especially well-rounded gymnast. 

At her February 2020 meet, she tied her profession excessive of 9.975 on the beam, in line with UCLA. The gymnast scores excessive on the bars, too. In 2019, Nia was first-team All-American on uneven bars, per her UCLA bio. She additionally earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors on bars in 2019 and vault in 2018. (The Pac-12 Convention is a collegiate athletics competitors that features members from 12 universities throughout the Western United States.) 

4. She loves the vitality of “rocking out” on the ground.

Dennis’s flooring work showcases the truth that she is an incredible dancer. The gymnast usually shares footage of herself dancing on social media (like this Instagram of a dance class she took in November 2019 to “Routine” by Wale that includes Rick Ross and Meek Mill), and that love of dancing shines in her routines. “I wished to have a dance get together as a result of that’s my character,” Dennis mentioned at this weekend’s digital press convention.

Dennis’s ardour for dance explains why she works so properly with volunteer assistant coach BJ Das—knowledgeable dancer and choreographer who has carried out dwell with Beyoncé, Pink, and Usher. “It’s been actually superb,” Dennis mentioned throughout an episode of Bruin Banter. “She’s offered quite a lot of completely different types and quite a lot of completely different strikes that I can work with and various things that I can strive, particularly strikes that I’m probably not comfy with, breaking me out of my consolation zone a bit bit, which I feel is basically cool.” 

That zeal for dance can be a part of what makes Dennis so enjoyable to observe. “I like the vitality; we love a flooring get together,” Dennis mentioned. “I like when the group will get tremendous loud, as a result of then I really feel like we will all simply rock out and have the largest dance get together on this planet.”

5. She not too long ago had shoulder surgical procedure.

Dennis had a longterm shoulder harm corrected in 2020. She had been performing with a shredded labrum (a sort of cartilage within the shoulder joint) for 5 years, per the Los Angeles Times. Dennis shared the information that she “lastly mounted her shoulder” with an Instagram put up in June 2020, promising to “be again betta than evaaaa” She thanked her mother (featured within the second slide) for being there to assist her. 

In December, Dennis appeared again on her progress because the operation with a reasonably badass video she shared on Instagram.

6. Her greatest inspiration is her little sister. 

Dennis opened up about her particular relationship together with her 10-year-old little sister Maya throughout an look on The Ellen Show following her huge second final 12 months. “She loves me, adores me, seems to be as much as me,” Dennis mentioned. “And actually, on my days after I really feel like I can not do it anymore, or I simply need to give up much more, she simply retains me going. So I like her.” 

7. She’s been a gymnast since 2006.

In accordance with her bio on USA Gymnastics, Dennis began the game in 2006—which means she’s been doing gymnastics since age six or seven. She credit her mother and father Casey and Deetra Dennis, who are sometimes at her meets, for encouraging her to provide the game a strive. 

“My mother and father mentioned that after I was younger I might all the time mess around on the monkey bars,” she mentioned on the location. “They steered that I get began in gymnastics.”

Since then, she’s racked up the honors, each nationally and internationally. In accordance with her UCLA bio, Nia was a member of the U.S. Nationwide Group from 2013 to 2015 earlier than coming to UCLA. She additionally competed within the Ladies’s Junior Olympic Nationwide Championships in 2017, per her USA Gymnastics bio.

We’re excited to see what Dennis does subsequent. Within the meantime, although, Dennis is tremendous lively on social media, so you possibly can keep up-to-date by following her on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Snapchat (@n_dennis23) you can comply with. Peep her TikTok for extra superb dance strikes—you by no means know in the event that they’ll present up in a single her subsequent flooring routines!

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