This article was originally written for the Anchorage Daily News.
Last week, Brianna Bundick-Kelly, a college student who’s originally from Anchorage, posted a video on Twitter of herself dancing in sync next to a video of Beyoncé’s Coachella performance.
“If you thought I was about to sit here, learn choreo & dance like I’m one of Beyoncé’s backup dancer…YOU’RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!” the post read.
She never expected it to go viral. But as of Thursday, the April 18 video had been viewed 5.35 million times, garnered almost 100,000 retweets and the attention of Ellen DeGeneres.
Reached by phone in Virginia, where she attends university, Bundick-Kelly said that when the video took off and she received an email from one of the Ellen show’s producers, she didn’t believe it.
“At first I thought it was fake,” Bundick-Kelly said. “People will send you anything.”
Bundick-Kelly appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres show April 24 to show off the same moves that made her go viral.
Bundick-Kelly was born and raised in Anchorage and graduated from Bartlett High School in 2017. She’s currently attending Virginia State University pursuing a degree in computer science.
Bundick-Kelly’s social media handle is “Briyonce,” a combination of Briana and Beyoncé.
“I was asking my friends, ‘What do you know me as?’ And [they said], ‘You’re the girl that loves Beyoncé,’” said Bundick-Kelly, who’s posted a handful of videos recreating Beyoncé’s performances.
DeGeneres gave Bundick-Kelly a limited edition jacket that Beyoncé only sold at Coachella and tickets to see Beyoncé at one of her shows this year.
“You know Ellen gives gifts, but I wasn’t expecting a gift, honestly. The jacket, oh that jacket… I’ve kept it in my closet. I don’t want to mess it up, I’m scared,” she said.
Asked whether Beyoncé had reached out, Bundick-Kelly says – not yet.
“She’s really hard to get a response out of for anything. I wasn’t expecting her to see it or Tweet me or message me about anything because she’s Beyoncé, that’s all I can really say, she’s Beyoncé,” Bundick-Kelly said. “Hopefully she knows who I am, that’d be really cool.”