TODAY -- Pictured: Julianne Hough on Thursday, December 5, 2019 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)
Photo: NBC/Nathan Congleton/NBC
Photo: NBC/Nathan Congleton/NBC

INTERVIEW: Julianne Hough will rev audiences up for Oprah’s 2020 Vision Tour at State Farm Arena 1/25

Originally posted Thursday, January 16, 2020 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Julianne Hough is the type of celebrity who seeks to be a “multi-hyphenate.” 

She became famous first as a dancer and choreographer, then sang country songs, acted in films such as  “Footloose” and “Rock of Ages” and graduated to judging “Dancing With the Stars” and “America’s Got Talent.” 

Her latest effort to expand her world: fitness instructor with a program she dubs the “KINRGY Dance Cardio Method.”

And who is helping her introduce it? Oprah Winfrey, that’s who. Winfrey is doing a nine-city all-day arena tour called her 2020 Vision Tour, which will come to its fourth stop State Farm Arena on Saturday, January 25. (Tickets here.)

Hough, who broke it big on “Dancing With the Stars” about 14 years ago,  was asked to help provide a 20-minute KINRGY workout”routine for the arena participants after lunch. 

“We want people to get connected to their bodies and connected really to themselves,” said Hough in a recent interview. “We help surrender our mind that has become so busy. Our bodies have become so still. We need to free ourselves like we were kids.”

She said her method helps users to release the overload of information that clouds their brains. “We don’t know how to process it,” she said. “KINRGY releases all that stagnant energy. You can better connect with your truth and self and relate to the people around you without separation. You get to experience the world in its purest form which is love and unity.” 

Hough said the regular workout is 45 minutes but she modified it for a big crowd, where there isn’t a lot of spare room. “They’re not doing the full moves but they get to see the arc of the process,” she said. 

The rest of the day features inspirational talks by Winfrey and other guests, plenty of promotions by sponsor WW (formerly Weight Watchers) as well as an interview by Winfrey of actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, who recently purchased a home in Powder Springs. 

Hough won’t do a full introduction of KINRGY until 2021 with a digital platform and possible brick-and-mortar sites. 

She said she was developing the concept last year at a Global Wellness Day event and Winfrey saw it via live stream. “She called a week later and asked me to be on her tour,” Hough said. “We were like the first people she asked. I was so grateful! My goal is to change people’s mindsets. That way we can change their habits.”

Hough said she has never worked with Winfrey before and it’s been “magical.”

“She’s a woman we’ve gotten to know over the years,” said Hough, 31. “She raised us! Her love for connection is so apparent. She talks about it on the show. My superpower to connect with people is through dance. Hers is connecting with others through her interviews. Watching Oprah in the audience with 15,000 people dancing and doing the moves is the greatest feeling in the world.”

Photo: Photo credit: Courtesy of WW/George Burns

Hough has shot two of her films - “Footloose” and “Bad Grandpa” - in Georgia and last year spent time in Atlanta shooting Dolly Parton’s Netflix anthology series “Heartstrings” based on famous Parton songs. Hough plays Jolene, based on the song of the same name and her mentor in the episode is portrayed by Parton herself. 

“The coolest part,” she said, “was singing with Dolly Parton on stage and doing a duet with her. We did it multiple times. Every time we did it, I felt a different kind of chemistry. We were performing for the crowd and it was just amazing. The times in between, we just chatted. I took in the advice she gave me. She’s Dolly Parton for a reason!” 

She was recently let go from “America’s Got Talent” as a judge after just a season, along with actress Gabrielle Union. Union complained of a toxic environment and cited examples of minorities being slighted and her needs not being met.

Hough has said nothing but nice things about “AGT” but didn’t deny Union’s account of her own experience. “I’m a supporter of anybody speaking their truth and having their voice being heard whatever it may be,” she said. 

IF YOU GO

“Oprah’s 2020 Vision Tour”

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, January 25

$119.50 to $209.50

State Farm Arena

1 State Farm Drive, Atlanta

www.ticketmaster.com

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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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