UCLA Gymnast Adds Hip-Hop Moves Into Floor Routine, Breaks The Internet

BY:  John “Hennry” Harris

In gymnastics, floor routines usually last up to 90 seconds of choreographed dance and acrobatics composed on a spring floor.  Scoring is based on difficulty, artistry and demonstration of required elements along with with overall performance quality.

Sophina DeJesus, 21, has upped the ante in the sport by not only performing spot on classic tumbling runs, but also added in popular hip-hop dances like the dab, whip, nae nae and the Quan which have sparked a Facebook video post to go viral – being shared more than 415,000 times and with more than 23,730,000 views at the time of this writing.


Sophina DeJesus (UCLA) Floor 2016 vs Utah 9.925She MURDERED it! Sophina DeJesus of UCLA, everybody.

Posted by Marcus Cheatham on Saturday, February 6, 2016


DeJesus just turned the sport upside on its head by taking those normally stale moments in between the tumbling and infusing enthusiastic hip-hop moves that really resonated with the crowd and the Internet. sophinatheQuan

In an interview with The New York Times, DeJesus says,

“I love dancing,” DeJesus said of her decision to try the unorthodox routine.

“I wanted to end my senior year with a bang.”

“My sister Savannah is an awesome dancer,” she added.  “She helped me with the choreo and made it more fun.”sophinapic

DeJesus, a sociology major from Temecula, CA, has made limited floor appearances over her UCLA career, but her performance this weekend against No. 7 Utah is making her a household name.

youngsophinaDeJesus does have a dance and acting background, even performing on the TV show “Hip Hop Harry” at the age of 12.

“He was like Barney, but a hip-hop bear,” DeJesus said.

“We’d teach kids about the importance of drinking water, and stuff like that.”

DeJesus scored a 9.925 on her routine Saturday, tied for third on her team at the meet, trailing two excellent, but less popular performances, which has raised the question whether her hip-hop moves helped or hindered scoring from traditional judges.

Samantha Peszek, an Olympic silver medalist and former UCLA teammate of DeJesus, says, samanthapeszek

“Commentators mostly talk about tumbling because it seems to be more impressive to an audience and it’s easier to spot the deductions in landings, height and form,” said Peszek.

Peszek also pointed out that her hip-hop innovations may not lead to perfect 10s, but “it is a subjective sport with human judges, so it doesn’t hurt,” Peszeck said.

sophinacollage“The great thing about routines like Sophia’s is that they bring energy and life not only to the audience, but the rest of the team watching,” she added.

BOSS Sports would like to congratulate Sophina DeJesus for bringing hip-hop into gymnastics and adding some needed flavor to her sport !!

We will just call Sophia a #Winnovator !!



  • About The Author

    Follow John on Twitter @JohnHennry904 John "Hennry" Harris is a Sr. Editor at reason4rhymes.com and BOSS - brothersonsports.com



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