Met Gala 2021: Gymnast Nia Dennis stuns with incredible red carpet performance

Gymnast Nia Dennis kicked off the 2021 Met Gala with an incredible performance on the red carpet

Gymnast Nia Dennis kicked off this year’s Met Gala with an incredible floor routine on the red carpet.

Dennis was accompanied by the Brooklyn United Marching Band, who played instrumental versions of Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars, Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z featuring Alicia Keys, and American Boy by Kanye West featuring Estelle.

Donned in a blue Stella McCartney x Adidas bodysuit, Dennis completed an incredible routine down the Met Gala stairs and onto the red carpet, complete with backflips, cartwheels and splits.

Buzzfeed’s senior entertainment editor Jarett Wieselman was a fan of the performance, referencing a long-running joke about Jason Derulo falling down the stairs at the Met Gala in a Twitter post.

"Nia Dennis shows Jason Derulo what he should have done when he fell down the #MetGala steps," he wrote.

Dennis later walked the red carpet with a blue sheer sparkly floor-length overlay and Ana Khouri jewellery.

"This feels like I'm living in a dream," Dennis told Vogue. "People aren't necessarily tuned into gymnastics. I'm really excited to bring the sport to the Met Gala."

A number of high-profile sports women were also in attendance at the Met Gala, including fellow gymnast Simone Biles. The seven-time Olympic medallist wore an 88-pound embroidered gown, with a train so huge it needed to be carried by six men.

Women’s tennis was represented by newly-crowned US Open winner Emma Raducanu, four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka, sisters Serena and Venus Williams, and retired player Maria Sharapova.

US football star Megan Rapinoe was also in attendance, nailing the Met Gala’s American theme by turning up in a bright red silk Sergio Hudson pantsuit, with a royal blue blouse, complete with white stars.

Tennis star Naomi Osaka attended the Met Gala

What is the Met Gala?

The Met Gala, formally known as the Costume Institute Gala, is held each year at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. It acts as a fundraising event which marks the opening of the Costume Institute's annual fashion exhibit.

The guestlist always includes the world’s biggest celebrities, including actors, artists, musicians, sportspeople and influencers. With such prominent stars in attendance, the Met Gala has become the fashion industry's premier annual red carpet event.

Each year's event celebrates the theme of the respective Costume Institute exhibition, although last year’s Met Gala was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, guests are encouraged to wear an outfit that matches the theme of "American Independence."

Osaka, actor Timothée Chalamet, singer Billie Eilish and poet Amanda Gorman were chosen to co-host the event.

Tennis legend Serena Williams was in attendance at the Met Gala

Who is Nia Dennis?

The 22-year-old Dennis is best known for her Beyonce and Black Lives Matter-themed floor routines which she performed while at UCLA. Both routines went viral.

Dennis, who started gymnastics in 2006, was part of the US national team from 2013 to 2015. Despite her proficiency on the floor, Dennis’s favoured apparatus is vault. She studied sociology at UCLA and hopes to become a stunt double.

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