This Alaskan’s recreation of Beyoncé’s dance moves went viral – and landed her on ‘Ellen’

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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.”

The Author

Hi! My name is Sam Davenport. I am a freelance writer and lifelong Alaskan who loves reporting on the state’s history, food and culture. I am a graduate of the University of Alaska Anchorage, where I received bachelors degrees in journalism and political science. I was the executive editor of The Northern Light — UAA’s student-run newspaper — for 2.5 years During my time at UAA, I completed internships at the Anchorage Daily News and Alaska Public Media. I am the managing editor of The Spenardian, an award-winning hyper-local news blog and magazine for the neighborhood of Spenard. I have been published in Vice, Anchorage Daily News, Alaska Dispatch News, The Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska Magazine, Alaska Business, The Northern Light, The Anchorage Press, The Frontiersman, Alaska’s Energy Desk, KSKA, KTOO, Last Frontier Magazine, Crude Magazine, Mountain View Post, The Spenardian, Alaska Contractor Magazine, Wildheart Magazine and True North Magazine. For freelancing rates or a copy of my resume, please email me at samanthabdavenport@gmail.com.

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