Last week, junior student Nia Dennis marked her 21st birthday by taking part in a meet against Utah at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion.
Dennis performed a high-scoring floor routine to a mash-up of Beyoncé songs, in tribute to the singer’s history-making 2018 Coachella headlining performance and subsequent Netflix documentary, which was titled Homecoming.
The routine saw her flip in the air to an instrumental of the Destiny’s Child track “Lose My Breath”, perform splits in mid-air to Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love”, do the signature dance move from “Diva” and end her routine by placing an imaginary – and very well-deserved – crown on her head.
The Beyhive has since come out in full force to shower Dennis’ talents with praises, including the likes of actor Gabrielle Union and singer Alicia Keys.
“Look at this unstoppable power and confidence!!” Keys tweeted.
“Was just talking about how nothing gives you more power than being yourself! Shine @DennisNia, I’m inspired!!”
“Another glimpse of #BlackGirlMagic baby! In every dimension of this universe, we. Change. The. Game. Baby! You better work @DennisNia!” wrote Democratic politician Nina Turner.
Another person explained how the routine demonstrated the importance of representation, writing: “This is exactly what representation translates into, being able to identify yourself through someone who looks like you.
“She is an amazing gymnast and I hope she gets to shine even more, while performing to Beyoncé.”
Dennis received a floor score of 9.975 for her routine, just shy of a perfect 10.
The gymnast expressed her gratitude for the support she has received.
“I am overwhelmed with happiness and joy, thank you everyone for such positive messages, it means the world to me to have your support,” she tweeted.
“This is so surreal I can’t believe it! Much love always.”
Ohashi scored a perfect 10 for her energetic routine, going on to receive ESPY Awards for “Best Play” and “Best Viral Sports Moment” in July.
During her speech at the awards ceremony, Ohashi addressed the body-shaming she has experienced on social media.
“Thankful to live in a country where females can compete, so trust me your words will never be the reason for our defeat,” the gymnast said.