Last month, UCLA gymnast Sophina DeJesus blew the Internet away with her flawless floor routine. The half Puerto Rican, half African-American senior delivered a lively performance, where she did the Quan, Dab, and the Whip/Nae Nae. Her 9.925 score helped her team win, and DeJesus became a viral sensation.
LA Weekly caught up with her this month to see what’s gone down in her life since reaching peak Internet fame. “In the first place, I didn’t even know my routine was posted when it became viral until my mom called me,” she said. “She’s like ‘Oh, your floor routine has like 5 million views.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, mom. You’re so sweet.’ Like definitely being a nice, biased mom. Then, my coach called me, and I was like, this is real.”
DeJesus visited The Ellen DeGeneres Show, where she once again showed off her kickass floor routine, and she got a shout out from Chris Brown. And even though it’s her moves that captivated the Internet, she thanked Marcus – the person who uploaded the video.
Those who know her best – her coach and teammates – also weighed in on why they think Sophina’s video went viral. Her coach, Valorie Kondos Field, didn’t take any of the credit, saying that it was Sophina’s genuineness that drew people to her video.
Danusia Francis danced on the sidelines as her teammate churned out a memorable performance. “Gymnastics is known for more classic ballet and elegant routines, and I think people haven’t really seen that type of dancing,” Francis said. “In college, it is a thing that happens. People do whip and nae nae in their routines… I think Soph’s such a good dancer that that’s why hers got the attention it got.”
Check out LA Weekly‘s full video interview with Sophina DeJesus here.