When Dance Says More Than Words Ever Could…

Julianne Hough dances her way through life.  Literally. 

For the Dancing With The Stars dancer turned judge, dance is more than an expression. It’s life. 

Hough recently sat down with Jay Shetty and spent time reminiscing about her past. Music soaked dinners and family dance parties make up her childhood memories.  

She credits her grandparents who danced together in their kitchen every morning until her grandfather passed away with starting the love of dance in her family. 

For Hough, dance often comes more naturally than words. She delights in the connection between mind, body and spirit that is manifested through dance. 

Facing Fear With Truth

Julianne’s love of dance and music wasn’t the only thing that she inherited from her family. The lessons are more than surface deep. A deep commitment to pushing past fear and discomfort has led her family to a place of honesty and vulnerability. 

“My family has created an environment where we act out of love versus fear, and we're not afraid to speak truth,” Hough explained to Jay Shetty. “We were just together for Thanksgiving, and it was magical and beautiful, but also there was some drama. It was okay because we have created an environment where we feel safe enough to speak to what is going on, and we are encouraged to do so.” 

This authenticity has become the bedrock of who Hough is. While her life is not free of problems or drama, the dancer-turned-singer-turned-actress chooses to let love and truth permeate her life. This isn’t possible when you’re holding on to fear. Ultimately, it takes courage to cast fear to the side.  

“In order to fully be able to give and receive this pure kind of love – if I'm acting out of fear of hurting someone or something like that – they're not going to be able to receive the pure love that I actually want to give,” she told Jay Shetty.

Dance is a Way of Life

You know you are really serious about dance when, at the ripe old age of ten, you move across the ocean in pursuit of higher training. Hough landed in London alone but determined and spent hours every day perfecting her craft. 

“I had a very rigorous schedule, waking up at 6:00 AM and finishing at 11:00 PM every night,” Hough described to Jay Shetty.  “And if I was sick, it didn't matter. I had to keep going. I built up a lot of great work ethic, but at the same time I couldn't complain. I couldn't express how I felt. It was really difficult.” 

“When you started dancing when you were eight years old, did you ever imagine it was healing then?” Jay Shetty asked.  

“My dancing actually shifted and moved the energy within my body for me to feel like I actually could transform that energy that would have therefore been stuck,” Hough answered. “I'm so grateful for my dancing.” 

This principle is something that Hough carries with her to this day.   

Stop and Wait a Minute

These days Julianne Hough moves with a lot of momentum. Judging on Dancing With The Stars, performing, singing, acting, and her new business all demand her attention and creative focus. She gladly embraces that, as she loves each facet of her work.  

“I am the type of person that the more creativity, the more I'm doing, the more I want to keep going,” she admitted to Jay Shetty.  

“How have you tried to continue to celebrate, honor, and value these incredible milestones?” Jay Shetty asked.

Hough shares that one of the most powerful lessons she has learned is to slow down. It has taken some work to learn to celebrate and reflect on where she has come from and what she has accomplished. In the beginning, this was not easy for her. 

“Before being 25 I was never satisfied, and I hated that feeling of satisfaction because I felt like I was dying,” she told Jay Shetty. “I felt like I was literally in like a sand pit sinking and I was stuck and like life was over. And so I had to just keep moving.” 

Today, she’s done the work to find fulfillment and peace. 

“I'm learning that actually being still and being satisfied, being grateful and present and celebrating actually gives me a moment to digest, take it in, create a beautiful memory,” she explained to Jay Shetty. “After that, I can move forward”

Finding peace and being able to slow down to celebrate has been huge for Hough’s overall health and fulfillment.

“I'm creating so much all the time and it's a constant reminder to like, okay, hang on. Stay present, stay focused on just being in the moment and actually celebrating,” she said to Jay Shetty. “I think when we don't celebrate, we forget to build a memory, and memories are what our lives are made of.” 

Kinrgy – The New Kid In Town

Immersive experiences have changed Julianne Hough’s life.  A life lived immersed in the world of dance in London did more for her than a few hours of dance lessons each week, and breathing dance and music from a young age has injected rhythm into Hough’s veins. 

“If you really want to have an experience and honor it and keep it, if you want to have it transform you, then integrate it and have it heal you, it needs to be immersive,” said Jay Shetty. “That can't be done through technology. It needs to be  a created experience.” Hough couldn’t agree more.

It comes as no surprise then, that when Julianne Hough developed her new elevated fitness program, Kinrgy, she was passionate that people truly experience it. Described by Hough as, “a trifecta of movement, breathwork, and visualization”,  the program also incorporates a focus on the elements earth, fire, water, air, and ether. The passionate artist has taken it one step further. 

“Really it's more about the transformation that happens and the philosophy of how the answers are all within you and you don't have to go outside of yourself,” she told Jay Shetty. “Cause really at the end of the day it's about how once I can connect to myself, I can then better relate to and understand the people around me.

Hough is joining forces with Oprah Winfrey and touring the U.S. to unveil the power of Kinrgy. With stops in nine key cities, the power duo will offer attendees a day of wisdom, motivation, and connection. 

More Than Movement With Jay Shetty

Dancing is when Julianne Hough feels most fully alive. She explained to Jay Shetty that the mind-body connection is more powerful than most people give it credit . 

Hough will never stop playing and embracing life and movement with a childlike innocence and excitement. She believes that people who connect to their inner child through play and dance keeps lines of connection and creativity alive. 

“I think our creativity has sometimes been a little dwindled because we've gone into this adult mode of execution instead of imagination,” she told Jay Shetty. Part of Hough’s motivation for developing Kinrgy is to empower more people to find that connection and outlet for creative expression once again. 

“Kinrgy is like tribe and family, but also kinder, like kindergarten and child and wonderment,” she explained to Jay Shetty. “That child-like wonderment for me is one of the most key disciplines to focus on and reconnect to when I feel overwhelmed or something. I have to go and play.”

The Through Line

Hough is especially excited about Kinrgy because the program encompasses the key elements comprise her life. Focusing on the elements and drawing from different modalities make it a well-rounded practice for anyone. 

Developing the program has had an impact on her whole life. Today, Hough sees her life and work containing more wholeness and focus. 

“My purpose is first to connect back to the artist in me, not the performer, and then express my truth and help other people find their truth,” she told Jay Shetty. Julianne Hough has found her voice.

“I will say that maybe in the past, I was a little bit more focused on the perception of who I was versus the truth of who I was,” she told Jay Shetty. “In the past I would have decided to be open to help people from the outside in versus the inside out. Now I want to speak my truth so that it's coming from within; from the inside out. The bonus is that if people can see themselves in me, then that's awesome.” 

“Your energy just completely breaks through the screen in such a beautiful, positive way,” complimented Jay Shetty. “That, to me, is the greatest accomplishment because it's so hard to be able to spread that much incredible infectious energy through a screen.”

Hough is proud of how far she has come and what she stands for. She still credits dance for being behind her growth and confidence today.

“Dance has always been my super power in the sense that it was my language,” she said to Jay Shetty. “My body was my language for me to express emotions or experiences that I didn't know how to verbally communicate. It gave me so much transformation and healing in the moment that I didn't even know I needed.” 

And so Hough dances one stage, one song, one family gathering at a time. As she dances, she shares her true self and encourages others to discover their true selves as well. The world longs for peace and connection, and Julianne Hough is doing her part to help foster it.  

Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “How To Feel Satisfied With Your Life & Create Beautiful Memories Along The Way” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.