LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis celebrated Los Angeles and hip hop music Sunday with her high-energy, thrilling floor routine hailed as an example of “Black excellence,” helping the win over Arizona State.
Dennis’ routine, which included snippets of well-known riffs from Kendrick Lamar, Beyonce, Missy Elliott, Souljaboy, Megan Thee Stallion and Tupack Shakur, had her teammates and coaches dancing with her and cheering wildly from the sidelines. Her routine included stepping, in tribute to the tradition of Historic Black Colleges and Universities, the raised first in the Black Power salute.
And in a particular salute to Los Angeles, Dennis threw her fingers up in a “W” as Shakur’s “California Love” played in the background.
The routine elicited high praise from fans, including superstar gymnast Simone Biles, who said Dennis was so fun to watch.
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) January 24, 2021
One of the artists whose songs was used in the routine also had a one-word reaction.
Dennis is the latest social media star to come out of UCLA Gymnastics, after Katelyn Ohashi in 2019 scored a perfect 10 at the Collegiate Challenge in Anaheim.