I met up with Julianne Hough, two-time “Dancing With The Stars” champion to discuss her new business ventures. In support of the millions of new remote workers, Hough and, her fitness platform KINRGY, has teamed up with Light + Fit to launch a new app called Working Well in partnership with the Movemeant Foundation, a nonprofit supporting fitness instructors impacted by studio slow-downs and closures due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We talked about her new company project and her personal mind/body philosophy has relevance for remote workers everywhere during this time of uncertainty, fear and despair.
Bryan Robinson: We all know you as a dancer, but many readers might not realize you’re also a businesswoman or that behind the scenes you have built your own company called KINRGY. And you have teamed up with Light + Fit to create “Working Well” to help people especially remote workers during the pandemic. Could you tell readers more about the wellness project?
Julianne Hough: During this time, we’re all trying to figure out what this new normal is. Being able to have something that gives you certainty in time of uncertainty will be beneficial for people. With millions of people moving from traditional office settings to working from home, Light + Fit is dedicated to helping remote workers “Add Some Light” to their lives with the launch of their new wellness app, Working Well plug-in, that can be downloaded to Slack.com, an amazing application for people who work in different companies. It’s an important tool to be able to help people at home, stay connected to themselves so they can be productive in their work. I believe when you can stay connected to yourself, you can be in that state of flow and relate to people around you and the rest of the world.
Robinson: Can you say more?
Hough: Maybe it’s the planet’s way of saying, Hey, we’ve pushed long and hard enough to where we’re burning out, and we need to take care of ourselves. So how can we create something to bring light to people’s lives during this time and help them connect back to what’s important? And that’s what the Working Well app and the partnership with Light + Fit is all about. It gives tricks and reminders to move, breathe and have a glass of water all throughout the day. There’s nothing better than having those routines and rituals for yourself. The app will share easy to do at-home wellness videos from my awesome KINRGY instructors and some great instructors from the Movemeant Foundation. It will share everything from workouts to meditations, along with movement reminders and WFH wellness tips throughout the workday. I believe when the mind and chatter are too much and we can surrender our minds to our bodies, we know more of the truth and wisdom of who we are.
Hough: Along with Light + Fit, we’re donating $200,000 to the Movemeant Foundation to help the fitness and wellness community, so trainers can put food on their table while everything has gone digital during the pandemic.
Robinson: Anything that has to do with the mind/body connection can only help all of us. Do you want to tell me a little about KINRGY?
Hough: I’d love to. I’ve been a dancer my whole life and went through a lot of trauma—mental depression and anxiety. Things that happened in my childhood drove me to become very successful and a champion. At about 25, I realized I was so empty inside (pause).
Robinson: Yes, I understand. Keep going.
Hough: I decided there’s got to be more. I’ve done so much to fulfill me. What else is there? And that’s when I got into this cognitive therapeutic mindset of figuring out what really happened and what drove me. I was able to dissect and have an awareness of what drove me to prove myself. That got me so far and then I realized there were more tools to keep me positive. What I realized was I never actually went through what I needed to go through. I just gained a lot more knowledge and awareness of how to be more mindful and positive. So at 27, I realized the body is so important and because I danced my whole life, I was able to move energy within my body and release a certain amount of depression and anxiety and transform that and not carry as much as when I didn’t move my body. It gave me a deeper recognition how important the body is. Not just endorphins to make us happier or doses of oxytocin, serotonin or dopamine levels. There’s more to this. I started to study different modalities and looked at breath, imagination, visualization and movement and understand we’re moving into the age of energetic health. We’re able to surrender our mind and all that chatter to our bodies and literally shift the vibration in our body and transform and release memories that have been stored there. I’ve been working with a neuroscientist to talk about the brain and how we hold information and memories. By activating our senses and using our imagination, we can shift our belief system through movement, breath and visualization. So KINRGY is a movement-based 45-minute class that helps you surrender your mind to your body so you can connect to yourself and relate to others so we don’t divide and separate and then we can really experience the world which is love, freedom and liberation. We don’t have to go shave our head or be a monk to be liberated.
Robinson: That’s right. We can do it right where we are. What we do with our minds and bodies can either extend or shorten our life.
Hough: Energy has always been this word that’s used as, Oh, you’ve got great energy, and it’s become this woo-woo thing to talk about. But only 4.6% of the entire universe is made up of matter. Everything else is energy. And at a molecular level, if we can shift our energy and vibration, what’s happening inside our bodies then that’s when our reality can shift and we can see what’s possible. My whole philosophy is in order to change, transform and create something that’s sustainable, you have to start from the inside out. You cannot go from the outside in. That’s my mission and what KINRGY and Working Well are all about to light people up and give them hope and excitement and trusted resources where they feel like they can step into their truest selves. And when this is all said and done, they’re prepared to go back out into the world as the version they want to be, not who they think they should be or have felt they should be.
Robinson: You have a rich life experience as well as the talents you bring and you have a lot to offer people who are struggling. What message would you like to leave with people struggling with uncertainty, fear and despair during the pandemic?
Hough: Wow, that’s a beautiful question. To embrace uncertainty, to surrender to the unknown, as hard as that may be. Without resistance there is no change. For this specific time, whatever you believe, I truly believe everything is designed for us to have an opportunity to dive in deeper to what we want in life and ultimate happiness. We don’t give ourselves the opportunity or time to ask what does happiness look like for me. And it can look different for everyone. At this time, I’m an ultimate optimist. Forgive me if I’m not talking about all the struggles that are going in life. There are so many, economically speaking, and people are dying and it’s really traumatic. What I see from this time is people connecting with their children on a different level, getting to know them in a different way. They’re getting to know themselves during self-isolation. During this time we’re given an incredible opportunity to pause, stop and reflect and go inward to what is truly important without all the hustle and bustle of trying to keep up. With the uncertainty, with the unknown, I believe that’s where the magic happens. If we already know what we want, we’ve already set a limitation for ourselves. When you go into the unknown, you go into the light, the complete uncertainty and you have no idea, that’s when you can create ultimate possibility. So embrace the unknown, embrace the presence of, “I have no idea what tomorrow will hold, but I do have the power and control within myself to make a choice of who I am today.”
Julianne Hough joins resiliency2020.com on September 10th.