Jennifer Lopez’s dance battle show kicked it into high gear this week with their “duels” round. After the last two weeks of qualifying performances, groups were saving their best for the pressure of going head to head with other dancers. Swing Latino, a dance group from Cali, Colombia, brought it to the next level with their flamboyant, high-energy performances. They wore bright colors, danced their hearts out to Jose Aguirre’s “Pa’ Lante,” and had judges out of their seats, dancing along.
J.Lo danced along with team Swing Latino as they performed an exhilarating Latin Jazz number.
She couldn’t help but get off her feet and shake it.
But it’s what Swing Latino did for their finale that had J.Lo screaming and jaws dropping.
Credit: NBC World of Dance / Youtube
That’s right, for their final move, a group of dancers flung one of their own several feet through the air. She was caught by a male dancer who was being held up by three other male dancers, and then he flipped her upside down! It was insane.
We can’t wait to see what’s next on “World of Dance,” which is shaping up to be a summer spectacle.
J.Lo has a long history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community, and she’s not slowing down any time soon. Just last week, the Puerto Rican superstar took the time to lend her support to 18-year-old gay-identified Nat Werth. She heard that Werth was silenced from speaking on his experience as a gay teenager and denied his right to give a valedictorian speech. Lopez was shocked.
Werth worked hard to graduate from Sheboygan Lutheran High School at the very top of his class. While he didn’t give the speech he was entitled to, his courage has certainly sparked several opportunities to empower the LGBTQ+ community since then.
J.Lo is on her #ItsMyPartyTour, and, apparently, everyone is welcome.
Credit: @NewNowNext / Twitter
She invited Werth to the Milwaukee concert and arranged to meet with him backstage. She wanted to make sure that he felt some support for being out, open, and courageous enough to share in a vulnerable place.
The fact that Werth even wanted to open up about a painful, personal experience to an audience that is likely unreceptive is courageous.
Credit: @JLo / Twitter
Werth decided to take the staged opportunity to talk about his experience of being gay at the Christian school and to offer his understanding of the Biblical passages that are often used by homophobes to condemn homosexuality.
The school refused to let him give the speech.
Credit: @JLo / Twitter
He let them know that he was willing to cut the parts they didn’t like, knowing it was a controversial move on his part, but one worth taking. The school ultimately told him that, given his “track record,” they couldn’t trust him to stick to the script. Let us remind you his track record landed him a valedictorian title.
The salutatorian gave the speech instead, but Werth was honored with an even bigger stage.
Credit: @mkepride / Twitter
PrideFest Milwaukee honored him with its 2019 Valor Award and gave him an opportunity to finally deliver that speech. He started by telling the crowd, “I came out to my family on my 18th birthday. I knew that being forced out of my home was a very real possibility. I knew that my parents did not approve of gay people but I also knew they needed to know the truth in order to overcome their prejudice.”
“At church, I was taught that there was something wrong with me and that I had to change in order for God to accept me,” he told a [now, sobbing] crowd.
“I took it upon myself to examine the six passages in the Bible that talk about homosexuality. It quickly became clear that God, in fact, does not hate gay people,” he announced to a round of applause. Werth laughed off an “Amen,” in response.
Werth is also meeting with the Department of Public Instruction to correct Lutheran High’s discrimination towards its LGBT students.
@JLo / Twitter
Since the time of Werth’s graduation and his speech at PrideFest, he’s been getting to work on some policy changes. He informed the crowd that, “the Wisconsin School Choice Program allocates vouchers to students who qualify for financial aid in private institutions. Sheboygan Lutheran participates in this program. It is important to know that School Choice requires participating schools to follow certain guidelines, which include nondiscrimination, the option to take religion classes and the opportunity for students to speak with the board of directors if they would like, all of which Lutheran does not do.”
“No child should be taught by their school that they have to hate themselves to love themselves,” Werth concluded.
@JLo / Twitter
We know that J.Lo–a GLAAD Vanguard Award recipient, is in absolute agreement. Werth had to endure his own school teaching him that the essence of what allows him to love is wrong. The “Free Mom Hugs” signs at Pride make us all weep, but seeing this mami taking the time to give this wronged young man a hug is breaking our hearts into a million pieces and glueing it all back together. ❤️
J.Lo also made sure to tweet out her support for both Werth, and the entire gay community.
@JLo / Twitter
J.Lo is “always standing with” Werth, and what a beautiful way to graduate high school. Werth himself said that meeting J.Lo was “absolutely an amazing experience he will never forget,” Today anchor Carson Daly reported.
Jennifer Lopez arguably became a household name after she portrayed Selena in the biopic about the iconic Mexican-American singer. Since then, J.Lo has become a musical, acting, and producing force in the entertainment industry. Now, at 50, the Puerto Rican superstar is on a new tour and fans in San Antonio were treated to a special cover when she belted out “Si Una Vez” by Texas legend Selena Quintanilla.
J.Lo really showed up for her San Antonio audience with her “Si Una Vez” song after admitting it was her favorite.
At the beginning of the video, J.Lo asks the audience if they want to hear a little Selena. Like, what kind of question is that to ask a Texas audience? Of course, they want to hear some Selena. After asking the crowd which song would be best she told them that “Si Una Vez” is her favorite and that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
Fans were so excited to learn J.Lo’s favorite Selena song because we all have one.
Finding someone with the same favorite Selena song as you is so amazing. Legit, one of the most telling signs of how long your friendship and relationship will last is the Selena test. Do they know who Selena is? Do they like her music? Do you have the same favorite Selena song? This is crucial
Seeing the woman who brought Selena to the big screen was one of the most touching moments for so many people.
Hearts fluttered. Angels got wings. Moods were lifted. It was a physical moment for so many people who could feel the love from the stage. It was as if Selena was on stage in J.Lo’s body giving us the concert we have been craving.
While all of the concertgoers were melting down, social media people also lost their minds over the cover.
It’s like Thalía taking time during her concert to give the fans a taste of Jenni Rivera. Who wouldn’t want to be there for that moment? It feels like a special connection between the singer and the audience as they give praise and attention to a shared icon.
This is one way to ring in your 50th birthday, J.Lo.
There is one thing everyone knows for sure, J.Lo is a force that cannot be overlooked. She is a strong and powerful singer. A recognizable actor. A successful producer. But, most importantly, she is a Selena fan who gives the Tejano singer the respect and love she deserves.
Watch the full performance below.
Thank you, J.Lo. You know how to make your shows something to remember.