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The Bodybuilding Career of Diana Dennis

Diana Dennis competed effectively in bodybuilding from 1981 to 1994. This is remarkable because, back in the 80s, careers in female bodybuilding tended to be relatively short. There was still lots of opposition to aesthetic female muscle, much of the judging was problematical, and women competitors tended to get discouraged, drop out, and fail to fulfill their full potential.

But Diana persevered, competing as an amateur and a pro, and making a special mark in Mixed Pairs. Not only was Diana always in great shape, showing lots of long lines and muscularity, but she also demonstrated an artistic flair not often seen back in those times. For example, in the beginning, not being able to find photographers she considered creative enough, Diana would set up a mirror in the studio so she could devise the most effective poses. This set her earliest images apart from most other of her contemporaries. This caused me some problems when Diana and I started shooting together. She wanted to use a mirror to set her own poses, but I told her she could relax and trust me to take care of the posing and the lighting. It took a little while before she was able to feel comfortable relying on my artistic judgment, but when she did, we ended up with a lot of excellent photos.

Diana’s earliest success was in a mixed pairs competition (where couples do synchronize posing routines to chosen music), with partner Kevin Lawrence. They won several titles, including the 1985 IFBB World Amateur competition. Dennis earned her pro card by winning the overall title at the 1985 NPC Nationals. She then established herself as one of the top professional competitors by finishing third in the Ms. Olympia later that year. She competed in a total of nine Ms. Olympia contests, finishing outside the top ten only once. As a pro, Dennis won the 1986 Los Angeles Pro Championship and the 1989 Pro World Championship. She was inducted into the IFBB Hall of Fame in 2001.

Having now entered her seventh decade, Diana Dennis lives in Las Vegas where she works as a personal trainer, nutritionist, and photographer.


· 1994 IFBB Ms. Olympia- 10th

· 1993 IFBB Ms. Olympia 15th

· 1992 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 5th

· 1991 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 6th

· 1990 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 7th

· 1989 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 7th

· 1989 USA vs. USSR Invitational – 2nd

· 1989 IFBB Pro World Championship – 1st

· 1987 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 8th

· 1987 IFBB Pro World Championship – 4th

· 1986 IFBB Ms. Olympia 4th

· 1986 Los Angeles Pro Championship – 1st

· 1986 IFBB Pro-Am Mixed Pairs – 2nd

· 1986 IFBB Pro World Championship – 2nd

· 1985 IFBB Ms. Olympia – 3rd

· 1985 IFBB World Amateur Mixed Pairs – 1st

· 1985 NPC Nationals – 1st (HW & Overall)

· 1985 IFBB Pro-Am Mixed Pairs – 4th

· 1984 NPC Nationals – 2nd (HW)

· 1984 NPC USA Championship – 2nd (HW) · 1984 IFBB Pro-Am Mixed Pairs – 4th

· 1984 Orange County Muscle Classic – 1st (HW & Overall) · 1983 NPC National Championships – 1st (HW)

· 1983 AFWB American Mixed Pairs – 1st

· 1983 AFWB American Championships – 6th (HW)

· 1983 National Bodybuilding Fair Mixed Pairs – 2nd

· 1983 California Championships – 4th (HW)

· 1982 California Muscle Classic – 1st (HW & Overall)

· 1982 Saddleback Valley Muscle Classic – 1st (HW)

· 1981 The Shrine Amateur Grand Prix – 4th


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