Black, Magic and Real: Where Were You When Nia Dennis Broke the Internet–Again?

Illustration for article titled Black, Magic and Real: Where Were You When Nia Dennis Broke the Internet–Again?
Photo: Kyusung Gong (AP)

If “show up to show out” was a person, is there a better candidate on planet Earth other than Nia Dennis?


Last year, the celebrated UCLA gymnast sent jaws crashing into the floor with a show-stopping, Beyoncé-inspired floor routine that went all types of viral. And now, one of the most powerful purveyors of Black Girl Magic has reappeared just in time to snatch more wigs and obliterate her competition.

In her latest tribute to Black Excellence, set to the soothing sounds of Missy Elliot, Kendrick Lamar, Monica, and just about everything else doused in melanin, the 21-year-old put on for the culture as only she can:

During her floor routine over the weekend, she crip walked—ummm, please don’t do that shit outside—heel-toed, and hit just about every Black-ass dance in existence. But most importantly, she came, she saw, and she motherfuckering conquered. Not only did she have the time of her life, but she also bodied her performance: judges awarded her with a 9.95 out of 10 (only a 9.95?!?!!?!?) to help clinch UCLA’s 196.150 to 195.950 victory over Arizona State.

She was even kind enough to acknowledge her back up dancers along the way:


“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 LA because we out here, UCLA.”

Oh, you definitely put on for culture, Nia. The entire kingdom of Wakanda is singing your praises.


“Okay @DennisNia do the damn thing girl,” four-time Olympic champ Simone Biles cheered from the Twitter sidelines. “This was so fun to watch! Keep killing it!”


I don’t think Nia knows how to do anything other than kill it. All I know is that once again, we are all witnesses until the next time she emerges from her slumber to vanquish any and all who stand in her way.

Menace to supremacy. Founder of Extraordinary Ideas and co-host and producer of The Extraordinary Negroes podcast. Impatiently waiting for y'all to stop putting sugar in grits.



It’s amazing not only to see her having fun while doing what she loves to some of the music she loves, but to see her soul emerge because she made that house HERS.

Trying to just DO something versus excelling because you’re really IN IT is like trying to dance when you’re not in the mood versus that moment when the DJ starts tickling your soul with the music that flows through your very veins!