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Peloton instructor raised in Greensboro to compete on 'Dancing with the Stars'
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Peloton instructor raised in Greensboro to compete on 'Dancing with the Stars'

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GREENSBORO — Peloton exercise bikers know Cody Rigsby as a star instructor to devoted fans.

Local residents might remember him growing up here.

Come Monday, watchers of television’s “Dancing with the Stars” will know Rigsby as a contestant on season 30.

Rigsby will be among 15 celebrities competing in the season that premieres at 8 p.m. Monday on ABC.

Hosted by model Tyra Banks, the show pairs celebrities with professional ballroom dancers. They compete each week by performing one or more choreographed routines that follow the theme for that particular week.

Dancers are scored by a panel of judges: Len Goodman, Derek Hough, Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli. Viewers get a certain amount of time to vote for their favorites. The couple with the lowest combined score provided by the judges and viewers is eliminated that week.

Aside from Rigsby, celebrity competitors include JoJo Siwa, Suni Lee, Spice Girl Mel C, country singer Jimmie Allen, actors Brian Austin Green and Martin Kove, and Kenya Moore of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta.”

Rigsby will dance the Tango to “Physical” by Dua Lipa, according to the show’s press site.

Before joining Peloton, Rigsby was a professional dancer who performed with musicians including Katy Perry and Pitbull, according to Yahoo! News.

Now he teaches and serves as cycling director for the exercise equipment and media company based in New York City. Its internet-connected stationary bicycles and treadmills enable monthly subscribers to remotely participate in classes via streaming media.

When many gyms closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Peloton thrived.

So did Rigsby, who became known for his empowering rides and pop playlists.

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He has 860,000 followers on Instagram. Even before “Dancing with the Stars,” he was getting attention from national media including Vogue magazine and The Washington Post.

“People hate working out,” he said in The Washington Post interview. “They want to be distracted. Let’s be honest: I hate working out sometimes, too. So you want to be entertained. You want to forget that you’re doing something that you don’t like.”

Rigsby was born in California 34 years ago and grew up in Greensboro.

In a recent interview, Rigsby told The Washington Post that, as a kid in Greensboro, he was obsessed with musical theater and “MTV.”

He’d watch “Total Request Live” on MTV, learn the dance moves of Britney Spears and ’N Sync, and teach the routines to the fifth-grade girls.

He lived with his single mom, Cindy. By middle school, Rigsby wanted to take dance classes, but he knew his mom couldn’t afford them, The Washington Post said. Plus, he didn’t want to get picked on for liking something “feminine,” so he didn’t go.

Rigsby stayed in Greensboro for college. Freshman year, he started taking a free ballet class at a community center.

“It was me, 18 years old, 6-foot-2½, with 12-year-old girls taking ballet class because it was free,” The Washington Post quoted him as saying.

A friend told him about an internship program at the Broadway Dance Center in New York, so Rigsby got a job slinging burgers at Steak ‘n Shake to save up enough money for tuition, housing and walk-around money, The Washington Post said.

He headed to New York that summer with $1,000 in his bank account.

In 2009, he relocated to New York permanently. He worked as a professional dancer on projects including Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Victoria’s Secret, ELLE Magazine and “Saturday Night Live.”

A choreographer recommended him for a new startup fitness company seeking performers.

It was called Peloton.

Contact Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane at 336-373-5204 and follow @dawndkaneNR on Twitter.

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"Dancing With the Stars" features Cody Rigsby, who grew up in Greensboro. 

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