Entertainment

Ally Brooke Was Criticized For “Thrusting” And For Bringing Too Much “Beyonce” On DWTS

Right on time for Latinx Heritage month and on September 16 (Mexico’s Independence Day), fans tuned in to watch Ally Brooke (Hernandez) on “Dancing With The Stars Premiere.” Ally, former member of Fifth Harmony, and a Latina, Mexican-American from Texas, was paired with Sasha Farber. The duo kicked off the season by dancing the Cha-Cha to Fifth Harmony’s “Work from Home.”

Ally Brooke flowed into the evening and stunned with her moves and her look. As most of the contestants, she has no prior dance training, and yet she slayed her routine that had intricate footwork. At one point she even does a spin move while in a squatting position. Unlike some of the other dances of the evening, Ally and Sasha’s dance was fierce and had a lot of movement, it showed they weren’t just going to take the basic route.   Watching her dance, it is clear she has talent.

Which is why fans were left confused by the low score, which seemed to not match up to the level of the routine. A lot of viewers felt Brooke was robbed. With the combined judges score of 16, this placed Ally and Sasha in the bottom three.

Also under fire, were the comments made by long-time judge, Len Goodman. In his critique of Brooke, he told her there was too much having “gyrating” and “Beyoncé stuff” that he is not a fan of. Lord help Len Goodman if the beehive comes for him.

It’s interesting to note that Ally Brooke is the only Latina on this season of DWTS and yet she is the one that is told she is “gyrating” and “thrusting” too much. Goodman also referred to Brooke’s hair “being in the way” and in the end did give her credit for being a “competent dancer.”

Yes Len is known for being a harsh judge but these comments were about her person, not her technique. We are living in the era of not anymore, you can’t be an old white dude making old antiquated comments like that anymore that give nod to stereotypes against POC.

Just a few days ago similar situation happened at the Democratic Debate in Houston, Presidential candidate Julián Castro ignited a conversation on POC and old white dudes. Basically, a lot of folks feel that when it comes to POC stepping into predominantly white spaces, we are expected to behave a different level than another white person. This stemmed from a moment at the debate where Castro called out the former Vice President on an issue of healthcare and then received backlash from other candidates (and viewers) that felt Castro was being harsh, to which Castro replied that that’s what an election is for, to really talk about the issues. In the court of public opinion, on social media, a lot of other folks felt that if Castro was a white candidate he would have been applauded for these same actions.

It is a fair question to then ask, if Brooke wasn’t a Latina would “gyrating” be a problem? Would he hair still be considered “wild?”

This also lends to the deeper conversation of oversexualization of Latinas in media. Ally Brooke was wearing an outfit in the same style as so many other dancers over the years, her hair was blown out just like other dancers and her moves were not something overtly sexual that required being chastised by Len Goodman. There were other dances during the evening that actual had a lot more pelvic “thrusting” that her routine yet Ally and Sasha were the ones to get the harshest criticism.

Brooke took the criticism all in stride and as for the “too much Beyoncé” comment she disagreed and simply said “whatevs” to Len’s thoughts on Queen Bey.

Ally Brooke was part of girl group Fifth Harmony since their debut in 2012. After five years of travel and touring, Brooke decided to go solo in 2018. Since then she has been working on her new music and preparing for her solo debut.

As for the reasons why she left, she has said in different interviews, she felt it was time. She wanted to expand as an artist and push the reset button, on her life, her music, her style, etc.,

At the beginning of 2019, Brooke dropped her first single “Low Key” featuring Tyga. Since then, she has been releasing new music, including her latest hit to drop (yesterday) “Higher” featuring Norwegian DJ, Matoma.

Brooke is a bilingual artist and has also worked on Spanish language music, including her first collab, “Vámonos.” Not the only member of the girl group to go solo, all the other women of Fifth Harmony have also released solo projects. Most notably, Camila Cabello who slayed the charts with her smash hit “Havana” which paid homage to her Cuban heritage.

Ally is Mexican-American, a Texas native, from San Antonio. Like many Latinx, she grew up with Selena, Beyoncé and JLo as some of her favorite influences. Also like many Latinx, she has said that she has struggled with her Spanish speaking abilities, but that she grew up around her Mexican culture, so she doesn’t fell any less Latina. When asked before on what it means to her to be Latina, she has said “It means being strong and courageous, and the number one thing is passionate. We want people to come into our homes and feel like it’s their home. We have such beautiful culture with our music, with our dancing, with our food. I am so thankful that I am Latina.”

Part of the next chapter of Ally Brooke’s story is getting involved in the preservation of history. Brooke has partnered with, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express, for their Partners in Preservation Main Streets campaign, which will preserve historical areas based on engagement and votes. “It’s really important to me to be able to encourage the next generation, my generation, to get involved and to vote.” She continues, saying, “I really think that this generation has such impact and they are the future, and to be able to instill that in my peers and in my friends, encouraging them that they can make a difference… It’s such an important message to be able to share to this generation.”

She was moved to get involved after visiting the birthplace of the Chicano movement in LA, and other Mexican sites. This is a foundation that can give money and help keep these historic places alive for the future.

 
 

A Ring Camera Captured A Man’s Valiant Effort To Save A Mother And Her Daughters From A House Fire

Things That Matter

A Ring Camera Captured A Man’s Valiant Effort To Save A Mother And Her Daughters From A House Fire

Ring / Facebook

It was the middle of the night and Gladys Castañeda and her daughters were sound asleep as their next-door neighbor’s home went up in flames. Across the road, a neighbor noticed the flames and that the Castañeda’s weren’t outside, watching with the rest of the block. Ty Byers decided to take action and rush across the street towards the flames to alert the Castañeda’s to the impending danger. Ring doorbell video footage shows another neighbor, Amanda Smith, running over, desperately asking if they’ve gotten out yet. Both start yelling and banging on the windows and the door. All the while, Gladys thought someone was trying to break into their home. Using the Ring doorbell, she asked, “Can I help you?”

Once Byers realized she had the two-way speaker technology, he looks straight into the camera to shout, “The house next door to you is on fire! Your house is almost on fire!” Byers waited and helped run each of Glady’s daughters to safety while Gladys got prepared to abandon her home.

The Ring doorbell footage has since gone viral, and Gladys wants to shout Byer’s heroic efforts from all the virtual rooftops.

CREDIT: RING / FACEBOOK

The fire that nearly engulfed her Mesa, Arizona home was sparked in the early hours of July 26, 2019. Byers was new to the neighborhood, and she didn’t know him that well, but he still showed up as a model neighbor citizen. Even though the incident happened last summer, the video has been recirculating. Gladys admits that not even her closest friends knew about the near-death experience because she didn’t want to share the video out of “respect to my neighbors.” Now, she’s had a change of heart. “I didn’t want to put them out there like that but the more I think about it, why shouldn’t I? What they did was amazing,” Castañeda shared to Facebook. Now, she’s asking if people can help her share the video as an example of heroism.

Video footage shows ash blowing in the wind as Byers shouts, “Your house is almost on fire!”

CREDIT: RING / FACEBOOK

Castañeda was too afraid to go to the door, thinking robbers were causing a distraction to break into her home. With two young daughters, she didn’t know what to do but use the two-way speaker system on her smart doorbell to get more information. “Can I help you?” she asked over the intercom. After Byers shouts into the intercom, “The house next to you is on fire! Your house is almost on fire!” Castañeda responds, “Oh, oh, okay. Thank you.” Casteñeda ran out of bed to check on her oldest daughter, Emily and found that her room was already filled with smoke. 

“Without Ring, I don’t think I would ever have opened the door because in my mind I thought they were breaking in,” she told Ring. “When it’s a fire that big, minutes can turn into devastation. Who knows what could have happened?”

Byers then individually rushed each of Castañeda’s daughters over to his garage.

CREDIT: RING / FACEBOOK

Castañeda brought Emily to the front door and found Byers racing back to offer help just as she asked, “Can you help me?” Footage shows Byers sprinting across the street to rush Emily to his home across the street. A few seconds of inactivity go by when we see Byers sprinting back to the Castañeda residence. Castañeda passes over her one-year-old daughter, Victoria, and Byers rushes her over to her sister. Still, Byers races back and opens the door to lean in and ask, “Do you need any more help?” Fully clothed and with her phone in hand, she says, “No, thank you,” and runs across the street to be reunited with her daughters in Byers’ garage.

The Mexican-American mother is grateful for her children’s safety and wants everyone to credit Ty Byers and Ring doorbell for that.

CREDIT: GLADYS CASTAÑEDA / FACEBOOK

Castañeda’s husband had left for work just 25 minutes prior, which illustrates how quickly the fire erupted into a blaze that would completely destroy her neighbor’s home. Meanwhile, her neighbor had no idea his home was even on fire. The Castañeda residence was thankfully untouched by the fire, suffering only minor damages to the garage and some trees.

The Ring footage is now being used by her local fire department to investigate how the fire started.

READ: A Dad Interrogated His Daughter’s Date Using A Ring Camera And We All Feel The Secondhand Embarrassment

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Mexico’s ‘El Viejo’ Traditions That Ring In The New Year

Culture

Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Mexico’s ‘El Viejo’ Traditions That Ring In The New Year

@iconoveracruz / Twitter

Celebrating the new year in Veracruz, is a time for young people in towns across the coastal Mexican state, to dress up as “viejitos“ or senior citizens, and take to the streets to ask for “aguinaldos” and celebrate a tradition called El Viejo (The Old Man), which is believed to date back to 1875. Here’ what the tradition is all about.

A lively end of year tradition, typical of Veracruz. 

In the state capital, the youngsters parade through the streets to the sound of drums and trumpets to ask for money from drivers and pedestrians they pass along the way. In Veracruz’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec region, young men are the ones who don the costumes of both men and women to dance in the streets for a few coins.

 Typical of ’El Istmo de Tehuantepec’  El Viejo started in 1875 in the Port of Veracruz as a social protest by workers.

 It is said that that the tradition first startred when workers clanked cans and banged on loud drums, asking for Christmas bonuses, called “aguinaldos” in Mexico, outside the home of a rich factory owner who was celebrating his Christmas Eve dinner.

‘El viejo’ was originally inspired by a Korean immigrant who settled in Veracruz.

The tradition lost it’s political aspects and became more what it is today when a Korean man who lived in Veracruz dressed up like the  ‘viejito’ representing the old year in a Japanese almanac that he had. He would parade through the streets on the last day of the year followed by a little child representing the New Year, along with a noisy group of people playing guitars and  güiros, banging pans or setting off  cohetes and singing the following verses asking for their  aguinaldo:

Una limosna  para este pobre viejo, una limosna para este pobre viejo, que ha dejado hijos, que ha dejado hijos, para este año nuevo.

An alm  for this poor old man, An alm for this poor old man, who has left children, who has left children, for this New Year.

Nowadays, the Old Man is usually accompanied by an Old Woman.

The woman carries a baby doll—and the actors are usually university students dressed up with incredible masks and old clothes. They all stop by every store in downtown Xalapa asking for their aguinaldos. It’s a fun tradition where you gladly give your loose  pesos and tostones (50 centavo coin) to this happy crowd ushering in the New Year.