September 19, 2021 - 12:05 am
Peloton queen Jess King is her followers’ ride or die.
The former Las Vegas resident got on her bike in 2014 and has amassed an international cult following of riders and runners who spend time sweating and much more with her each day.
An intimate experience? King says there are few things deeper. “I’m intentionally speaking to people’s hearts, but on the bike,” she says. “I want you to know, if you are hurting and suffering, you’re not alone. I’m right here with you. I see you. Biking together is a deep connection.”
King cut her TV teeth as a pro dancer on Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” She is also known for her starring role in “Le Rêve” at Wynn Las Vegas, and her popular online cooking show called “Ooo Mami” with fiancée Sophia Urista.
Next up is Season 3 of her own show, “Jess King Experience,” which Peloton will premiere this fall.
How did the idea of Peloton appeal to you as a dancer and artist?
As an artist, I realized that this was just a different type of stage. And the impact of this worldwide audience blew other ideas out of the water. It’s millions of people watching you as opposed to how many you can pack into a theater. This was just moving the performance to a virtual world. It was also bringing art to fitness.
Out of all of the instructors, why are you one of the most popular?
I think it’s all about a commitment to authenticity. It’s not something I’m consciously seeking to achieve. It just happens.
What makes a spin class great versus “My rear is numb and I’ll never do this again”?
It’s the synergy of the music and the movement. It’s similar to a dance — it must fit together. A great class is a moving meditation. It takes you out of what you are familiar with in your world, like your job or your to-do list, and brings you into this sacred space where you can explore things you don’t know in your heart or your head. You might be on the threshold of a great idea or pushing to break a record or moving to get yourself going for your day. It’s deeply personal.
Do Peloton teachers have groupies?
(Laughing) It’s nice. Fans come up. Mostly, it’s a surprise when people see me. I’ll hear, “Oh, s—! Is that really you?” And I’ll say, “My friend!” The person will then say, “I see you every single day.” Those are my people.
What are your memories of playing the woman in the red dress in “Le Rêve”?
I learned how to ballroom dance in water. It was like I went scuba diving every night, when I wasn’t doing aerial work. It was one of my first professional jobs and a hard gig, but it taught me so much from a skill-set perspective. There was no mediocre. You weren’t allowed to not go for it. If you didn’t go full out, you would get injured.
How physically taxing was the show?
Dancing on a rubber stage that went 30 feet into the water was tough. By the way, we were in little leather ballroom shoes in the water. It was so hard on my feet, especially the little joints. It got to the point where after every show I was doing ice bucket after ice bucket just to get to the “ahhhhhh.”
When will you and fiancée Sophia Urista visit Vegas again?
Oh, I’m not done with Vegas. It’s such an interesting place and holds a lot of memories for us both. Sophia did the show “Opium” in Vegas. I did “Le Rêve.” Lots of fun times. Plus, I love a good dinner at Catch.