Jess King, Peloton Instructor

Ali on the Run Show Episode 427: Jess King, Peloton Instructor

“I had remembered this promise I had made to myself, which was a ‘year of yes.’ That if there was an opportunity to meet someone, to make a dollar, or whatever it was, if there was an opportunity in front of me, no matter how scary it felt or how much resistance I felt, I was at least going to give myself the chance to explore it. So I said yes.”

Every day, Jess King is in the homes of millions of people around the world. As one of Peloton’s first instructors (she joined the team in 2014), she teaches cycling, Tread, Pilates, and dance cardio classes, and is known and loved for her bubbly, glittery, high-energy personality. Jess is a born performer. She grew up dancing competitively in Myrtle Beach, SC, and competed on Season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance. On this episode, she reflects on that experience — on making it to the Top 10 before having to withdraw from the competition on account of a few broken ribs. She talks about the disappointment, about reading the comments on social media, and about stepping away from dance for a while afterward. Then, she talks about what it’s been like for her to watch fellow Peloton instructor Cody Rigsby make his dance reality competition debut on Dancing with the Stars, and talks about the text she sent him before he first stepped onstage “from someone who’s been there.” Jess talks about her desire to use her platform for good, and about the power of representation as a Latina woman and member of the LGBTQ+ community. She shares her love story with fiancée Sophia Urista (power couple alert!), opens up about her own mental health and self-help journeys, and talks about how she got the job at Peloton — and how the pursuit of fame quickly transitioned into a passion for building community.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • On bad days, setting intentions, and Halloween (6:00)
  • What it was like watching colleague Cody Rigsby on Dancing with the Stars (11:30)
  • Jess reflects on her time on So You Think You Can Dance Season 4 (14:20)
  • On dancing again after SYTYCD (24:45)
  • How fitness — and Peloton — entered the picture (31:00)
  • On the pursuit of fame, and the a-ha moment when everything felt validating (43:30)
  • The pressure of having a platform (51:15)
  • How Jess has evolved as an instructor since her earliest days at Peloton (55:35)
  • On developing thicker skin and being human (58:40)
  • Jess shares her love story with fiancée Sophia Urista (1:02:00)
  • Jess’s message to anyone going through some stuff right now (1:08:00)

If you love Peloton, check out:

Matt Wilpers on Episode 398 of the Ali on the Run Show

Becs Gentry on Episode 379 of the Ali on the Run Show

Jess Sims on Episode 261 of the Ali on the Run Show

Tunde Oyeneyin on Episode 311 of the Ali on the Run Show

Olivia Amato on Episode 344 of the Ali on the Run Show

Matty Maggiacomo on Episode 350 of the Ali on the Run Show

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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