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.