How Peloton’s Jess King Found Her “Escape” Through EDM Culture

Jess King is royalty in the dancing and fitness circuits. Now, the Peloton superstar is embarking on a journey through the weird and wonderful world of electronic dance music.

King is far from a casual consumer of EDM. An outspoken advocate of rave culture, she is introducing swaths of new fans to electronic music through a fitness program intended to educate trainees on the genre while breaking a sweat.

“The combination of music and movement and how they go together,” King tells “The parallels of the dancefloor and being in a fitness class, particularly my ride at Peloton. Those two experiences really feel similar to me and I get really excited to talk about it.”

King recently made her DJing debut at an intimate Brooklyn event in May. The experience has only galvanized her even more.

“I had moments of, ‘Holy crap! This feels so right! It feels so good!’ I felt calm. I just felt so good,” King gushes. “But what I found interesting is that being a dancer and now at Peloton, I’ve used my body as a means of performance—at any given time, whether I’m dancing or communicating with my movement or I’m taking you through intervals class or kicking your ass in a workout.

“This is the first time that I was able to just be cerebral,” she adds of her foray into DJing. “Not out here in my body, but in my head and within and communicate that through the sound. It’s a shift in how I show up on stage and it was really exciting.”

King’s enthusiasm for dance music is rivaled only by her determination to succeed. Detractors may scoff at the crossover appeal, but there is no denying King’s work ethic. The Peloton instructor is an alum of So You Think You Can Dance and theater productions crafted by Cirque du Soleil mastermind Franco Dragone.

She’s taking things one step at a time, but is open to the idea of producing music once she finds her footing as a DJ. King is wise to the difficult road ahead but can lean on the wisdom and experience of established acts like SOFI TUKKER, LP Giobbi and Gorgon City.

“I’m so new and I have the beginner’s mind entirely where I’m just like, ‘I’m going to suck at this for a while. It’s okay,’” King says. “I really look up to [Giobbi]. I really look up to Gorgon City. I really look up to a lot of the people I’ve now become friends with, which is mind-blowing.”

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King, like many of us, can trace her infatuation with EDM to a rave.

“There was this rave that I went to, Cityfox opening party at the Brooklyn Mirage maybe six or seven years ago… I just had this enlightening experience,” King recalls. “There was something about being there with just a ton of strangers, everybody was having a good time and the way people care for one another on the dancefloor.”

“It’s all love. It’s all fine. Get lost in the music. We’ll find you if we need you,” she continues. “I was like, ‘Woah, I’ve been looking for this kind of escape. I’ve been looking for this kind of playground for myself.’ It was just a profound moment that sent me down [the rabbit hole].”

King and her wife are expecting their second child imminently. Pride Month has come and gone, but the need for representation persists. That can sometimes put openly queer personalities under a complicated spotlight.

“This is a really poignant question, believe it or not,” King explains. “Showing up for my life in her fullness and fullest expression and in joy and in love and sharing that publicly, honestly, with the people around us is important. It’s important for people to see that you can have a gay or queer experience in life and it be beautiful and joyful and well-received. I think for that reason, it’s important for me to take a stand, have a presence in the world and be an advocate.”

“But the thing that oftentimes—she and I talk about this—that we struggle with is that we are so much more than being gay. So it’s challenging for us sometimes when we’re recognized for being gay as opposed to all the other things that we do all day, every day that we’re working so hard to accomplish and to create. It’s an interesting landscape.”

Sophia Urista and Jess King.

c/o Jess King

King’s journey from dance to fitness and, most recently, music—is a reminder of the abundance of experiences one can cultivate. A curious mind and a willingness to explore those interests can lead to endless paths of self-fulfillment.

“I do know the impact I have had on so many of our LGBTQ+ members at Peloton, and how profound that has been,” King adds. “Whether I’m championing them for them to come out, giving them one of the only safe spaces in their lives where they can just feel, whatever. Weird, queer, doesn’t matter. That’s really special to me. So it’s all of that. It’s being an advocate primarily by living my life in a big way, but also remembering that’s not the only thing about me.”

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