The theme for most NCAA floor routines is “fun.” This year’s viral floor routine belongs to UCLA’s Hallie Mossett, who performs to a medley of Beyoncé music. Last year’s most popular routine was also performed by a Bruin—Sophina DeJesus dabbed and whipped her way to a profile in the L.A. Times and an appearance on Ellen. In fact, if you play a drinking game with the word “fun” while watching NCAA gymnastics broadcasts, taking a shot every time a commentator says the word, you’ll be dead after four rotations.
But not all college gymnasts go for the fun; some try to bring in the melodrama. This year, Oklahoma’s Natalie Brown has competed a floor routine that, we are told, is inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis. (OU head coach KJ Kindler choreographs the Sooner floor routines; Kindler’s brother works for the American Refugee Committee, which aids Syrian refugees.)
The performance, like the music, is pretty, though I don’t think it screams “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the 21st Century” to the audience.
But in a year when the best figure skater in the world won the gold medal at the recent world championships to audio from 9/11, why not a floor routine about the Syrian refugee crisis?