The Met Gala is thought for theatrical arrivals, however just one attendee hands-free-cartwheeled into In America: Lexicon of Trend accompanied by the booming Brooklyn United Marching Band: gymnast Nia Dennis, greatest recognized for her groundbreaking Beyoncé and Black Lives Matter-themed ground routines whereas a pupil at UCLA. Carrying a patriotic, blue-hued bespoke adidas by Stella McCartney bodysuit, Dennis, a visitor of the designer, advised Vogue: “I really feel like Superwoman.”
Dennis grew up watching Battle of the Bands, the famed annual face-off between the marching bands for historically-Black Southern College and Grambling State College, together with her household in New Orleans. Her first viral routine, in 2020, opened to the drumbeats of Beyoncé’s Homecoming. It felt like a match made in Met heaven, then, to star in Brooklyn United’s pop-up parade: “Their power is ecstatic and it’s contagious,” mentioned Dennis, 22. “They arrive with such energy and such explosion that they make me wish to explode as properly.”
Consistent with the ode to Americana, the full-scale pink carpet manufacturing—fittingly co-directed by Broadway choreographer Raja Feather Kelly and director Rachel Chavkin (the power behind Natasha Pierre & The Nice Comet of 1812 and Hadestown)—featured what Dennis deems “conventional American songs:” “Empire State of Thoughts” by Jay-Z that includes Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars’s “Uptown Funk” and “American Boy” by Kanye West that includes Estelle. Rehearsing with the band in an enormous New York auditorium, Dennis selected gymnastics expertise she knew she may safely execute off the mat and on the Met, together with the triple trick of a cartwheel-back handspring-back structure and an array of stag and change leaps. She cited the majorette fashion—a mixture of baton-twirling, gymnastics and dance in style at traditionally Black schools and universities—as inspiration. Majorettes are “actually, actually fierce—a number of perspective, a number of power,” she mentioned. Sometimes, a majorette chief goes first, modeling strikes for the squad to observe. Monday night time on the Met, “I’m the majorette chief,” Dennis mentioned.
When Dennis’s “Beyoncé routine” rippled throughout the web, she felt the love however sensed folks “didn’t essentially perceive that was Black tradition.” Bringing her “full self” to the Met efficiency meant leaving little question. “That is how we have now enjoyable. That is how we carry out. That is how we get loopy,” Dennis mentioned. “That is Black leisure.”
Submit-performance, Dennis darted for a fast wardrobe change, topping her bodysuit with an adidas by Stella McCartney blue diamond web layer and linking up fellow McCartney friends Ella Emhoff and Emmy-winniner Ozark star Julia Garner. Along with Ana Khouri jewellery and Jennifer Behr hair equipment, Dennis wore adidas by Stella McCartney Earthlight coach boots, embellished with blue diamantes, glitter, and web—evoking a shiny, Cinderella-via-the-gym vibe. “This seems like I am residing in a dream,” Dennis mentioned. Exterior of the Olympics, “folks aren’t essentially tuned into gymnastics. I am actually excited to carry the game to the Met Gala”—and past.
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