Nia Dennis

My Story

Viral gymnastics sensation, “NiaNation” aspires to inspire. Her debut on The Met Gala red carpet was a cultural moment! Flanked by the 30-person Brooklyn United marching band, while wearing a patriotic Stella McCartney for Adidas bodycon jumpsuit that highlighted her athletic silhouette, Nia easily went from gymnastics routine to red carpet glamour with the addition of a blue rhinestone net layer gown, that transformed the recent UCLA grad into an even bigger Internet sensation!

Her collegiate viral floor routines celebrating Black Excellence paid homage to black culture and caught the eyes of everyone from Gabrielle Union and Alicia Keys, to Steve Harvey, Beyonce, Missy Elliot and many more. The talented athlete, who once dreamed of being an Olympian, almost reached her ultimate goal when in 2016, a torn Achilles, changed her path and taught her invaluable lessons about overcoming obstacles, perseverance and creating new dreams.

A member of the U.S. National Team from 2012-2016, Nia was a 2018 NCAA Gymnastics Champion and a leading contender on the UCLA Women’s Gymnastics team. “The Culture” was a recurring theme in the fun-filled floor routines of her college career, as she treated the gymnastics floor as her stage and the perfect place to showcase black excellence to the world. In February 2020, just prior to the global pandemic, Nia tumbled and hip-hop danced to a Beyonce inspired “Homecoming” floor performance at the UCLA vs. Utah meet, that highlighted majorette-style dancing typical of historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) which resulted in millions of online views, becoming the #1 trending topic online, and landing Nia a guest spot on The Ellen Degeneres Show. In February 2021, another one of Nia’s socially-justice filled floor routines from the UCLA vs. ASU meet, which came with a message of power and hope towards the push for equality, also wowed the internet and went viral at a time when the world needed to hear it the most, catching the attention of Michelle Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris and Janet Jackson, just to name a few.

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Nia Dennis grew up with Midwest values and a supportive family who encouraged her illustrious Junior Olympic and Elite gymnastics career. In 2015 at the Ohio State Football championship, as a huge fan of Buckeye Nation, Nia adopted the “Nation” for herself and picked up the nickname she prefers to go by today. During that time, she sacrificed a traditional classroom experience and trained more than 30 hours per week in order to reach Elite status and compete internationally with the ultimate goal being the 2016 Olympic Games. But, with a ruptured Achilles months before the games, Nia almost gave up gymnastics.

Becoming a UCLA student-athlete helped Nia reestablish her love for the sport of gymnastics under the leadership of legendary head coach Valorie Kondos Field, and along with the sisterhood of her incredible team. Graduating in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a host of real life experience behind her, Nia has set her sights on the worlds of fashion, modeling, beauty, dancing and brand ambassador opportunities, in addition to continuing to support the sport of gymnastics with an emphasis on social justice and equality.

In the meantime, when Nia got the opportunity to train Joe, Nick and Kevin Jonas for their 2021 “Olympic Dreams Featuring Jonas Brothers” special, it was definitely a different type of dream come true. Sharing her experience and expertise with The Jonas Brothers, and getting the opportunity to help them pursue and conquer their own Olympic Dreams, hopefully helped open up the door to new adventures for Nia on a new and different type of stage….

“Use your voice, your flips your knee or any talent you have toward the push for equality”

-Nia Dennis

Career Accolades

UCLA Gymnastics Career

  • 2021 Viral sensation Black Excellence floor routine ~4 million views
  • 2020 Viral sensation Beyonce-inspired floor routine ~6 million views
  • 2021 AAI Award finalist
  • 2021 Rose Gilbert Courage & Character Award Recipient
  • 2019 First-Team All-American on bars
  • 2018 NCAA team champion
  • Seven-time All-Pac-12 honoree (2021 first-team vault, floor, hon. mention bars; 2020 second-team vault, floor; 2019 second-team vault; 2018 second-team bars)

*Scored career-high 9.975 on beam 2/2/19 and on floor 2/23/20 and 2/25/18

Elite and Junior Olympic Gymnastics

  • U.S. National Team member from 2013-15
  • 2017 Junior Olympic level 10 all-around national champion
  • 2016 P&Gs while recovering from an injury and placed eighth … Won the vault and placed second in the all-around
  • 2015 At the National Championship, placed ninth in the all-around and tied for fourth on beam
  • 2014 P&G Championships second on vault and fourth in the all-around
  • 2014 Won gold on uneven bars and silver in the all-around at the Secret U.S. Classic
  • 2014 Pacific Rim Championships, representing the USA junior team, she placed second in the all-around and won team gold
  • 2013 City of Jesolo Trophy, Italy, won Silver medal in the all-around and won team gold

Videos of Nia

Nia Dennis In The Media

#NIANATION

ESSENCE

Nia Dennis Shares A Message For Black Girls: 'Stay Confident'

ESSENCE

Nia Dennis Shares A Message For Black Girls: 'Stay Confident'
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POP SUGAR

UCLA Gymnast Nia Dennis Brought the Black Girl Magic With This Beyoncé Floor Routine

Pop Sugar

UCLA Gymnast Nia Dennis Brought the Black Girl Magic With This Beyoncé Floor Routine
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TODAY

UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis talks about her viral floor routine

TODAY

UCLA gymnast Nia Dennis talks about her viral floor routine
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VOGUE

Nia Dennis's stunning performance at the MET GALA 2021

Met Gala 2021

Nia Dennis's stunning performance at the MET GALA 2021
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ESSENCE

Nia Dennis Claims Victory For The Culture With 2nd Viral Gymnastics Routine

ESSENCE

Nia Dennis Claims Victory For The Culture With 2nd Viral Gymnastics Routine
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PEOPLE

Gymnast Nia Dennis Says She Was 'Speechless' When Michelle Obama Shared Her Viral Routine: 'Insane'

PEOPLE

Gymnast Nia Dennis Says She Was 'Speechless' When Michelle Obama Shared Her Viral Routine: 'Insane'
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INSTYLE

Nia Dennis's Viral Floor Routines Are Just One Reason to Love Her

INSTYLE

Nia Dennis's Viral Floor Routines Are Just One Reason to Love Her
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INTERVIEW

Nia Dennis Talks to Gabby Douglas About the Pressure of Being Perfect

INTERVIEW

Nia Dennis Talks to Gabby Douglas About the Pressure of Being Perfect
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ABC NEWS

‘Black excellence': Gymnast Nia Dennis’ hip-hop performance goes viral

ABC NEWS

‘Black excellence': Gymnast Nia Dennis’ hip-hop performance goes viral
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FORTHEW!N

Nia Dennis Absolutely Killed her Beyonce Routine

FORTHEW!N

Nia Dennis Absolutely Killed her Beyonce Routine
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Check out #NiaNation on the 2021

GOAT TOUR

“The GOLD OVER AMERICA TOUR is a celebration of powerful female athletes who, together, are a united force proudly representing the sport of women’s gymnastics and inspiring the next generation of female athletes.”

Get in touch with Nia!

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#NIANATION

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2022

SI.com (1.1.22)

Essence (1.7.22)

Cheddar (1.13.22)

Morning Honey (1.17.22)

Access Daily (1.18.22)

Hollywood Life (1.18.22)

Haute Living (1.19.22)

US Magazine (1.20.22)

OK! Magazine (1.20.22)

Life & Style (1.20.22)

In Touch (1.20.22)

Page Six (1.18.22)

Hollywood Life (1.26.22)

PopSugar (1.28.22)

Essence (2.2.22)

Boardroom (2.17.22)

Ebony (3.4.22)

New York Post (3.11.22)

Los Angeles Times (3.11.22)

LA Confidential (3.11.22)

The Hollywood Reporter (3.17.22)

2021

Essence (1.25.21)

KNBC-TV (7.19.21)

Yahoo Life (9.13.21)

Cosmopolitan (9.13.21)

PopSugar (9.13.21)

Marie Claire (9.13.21)

Vogue (9.13.21)

Los Angeles Times (9.15.21)

Columbus Dispatch (10.14.21)

Today (1.29.21) 

 NBC Nightly News (1.25.21)

2020

Ellen Degeneres (3.11.20)