Cody Rigsby is known for bringing high energy and empowerment on the bike — but his upcoming memoir shows a whole new side of the beloved Peloton instructor.
In XOXO, Cody: An Opinionated Homosexual’s Guide to Self-Love, Relationships, and Tactful Pettiness, which will be released on Tuesday, September 12, the Dancing With the Stars alum, 36, details his journey to success.
“The book is about self-love. I don’t think you can love yourself without loving the darker and vulnerable parts of you,” Rigsby says in the new issue of Us Weekly. “That’s why I approached [my memoir] in that way of serious — but a lot of fun as well.”
In the book, you share your coming out journey. Why was that important for you to include?
There are still people who are holding back who they are, [so] I hope… [it] inspires them to live their authenticity — or if there is maybe [someone] with an LGBTQ, brother, sister, mom, dad, and they haven’t quite come to terms with it, that it helps them process it as well.
You got your start as a backup dancer for Luann de Lesseps. What was that like?
I was just so excited to be making $600 and finally say that I was a professional dancer. We were literally on a back porch, and there were fake dollars involved because “Money Can’t Buy You Class”! We did most of the work — and so did Auto-Tune, if you know what I’m saying.
What was your big break?
The Victoria Secret Fashion Show [in 2011]. I got to dance for Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj. It was something that I dreamed of, working for these big artists and doing these big productions. It really was validating.
Have you ever had an onstage mishap?
My Kat Graham performance. Nothing to do with her. She was fantastic. I actually felt so bad because literally it was just something in me. It was this club performance. She had a bunch of record execs and important people coming, and I just could not remember the choreography. I kept failing and failing and no matter how hard I tried, I could not get it. I was so embarrassed. And maybe that’s why Kat’s music career didn’t really take off.
You’re a huge Britney Spears fan. You auditioned to be her backup dancer, right?
I remember flying out to L.A. because the Las Vegas residency was going to happen. I was so, so nervous. I really wanted it but didn’t get my hopes up too much. I knew what the dance industry was about. I got through that first day of auditions and they called me back for the second day so I was feeling a little bit more confident. I was like, “Maybe Brittany will be there.” She wasn’t. And then I got cut on the second day, so I didn’t meet Brittany. But it was a great experience and the residency turned out to be fantastic.
Best celeb encounter over the years?
[Pink] asked me to host her album release party. I had recently gotten back with my boyfriend; we’d taken a little hiatus. I [asked her for] words of advice because I knew that she and her husband had taken a break [years ago]. She was like, “Whatever happened in that six months — whoever you slept with, whoever they slept with … let it go … enjoy what you have.”
You competed on Dancing With the Stars with Cheryl Burke in 2021. Did you guys get along?
Cheryl was a great partner. We once in a while would clash, but I think it always came from a place of love. I think that she always wanted to make me work harder or get it and be the best version of myself. I kind of relate with that in a very similar space.
You talk about being a sounding board for her during that time. Did you know that her marriage to Matthew Lawrence was on the rocks while filming?
I could tell there was a little disconnect. To finish the season and her be like, this has been a great distraction, but I’ve got to figure out what I’m going to do with my relationship — I’m proud of her for choosing herself … and deciding to separate.
What did you think of working alongside Tyra Banks?
Listen. [I’m an] America’s Next Top Model stan! And I remember the first week of Dancing With the Stars walking down the hallway and Tyra going, “Oh my God, is that Cody Rigsby?” And I was like, “Oh my god. Tyra Banks knows my name!” So I love Tyra and I [loved] her looks, even if they were crazy on the show. The fandom though for Dancing With the Stars doesn’t necessarily love her.
Thoughts on Julianne Hough taking her hosting spot on the upcoming season?
I think everybody loves Julianne. She’s gorgeous. She’s beautiful. She’s going to be a great host. So I invite the change. Listen, Tyra’s going to be fine. She’s got money [in the] bank.
How has Peloton changed your life?
People [say] that I’ve inspired them or I’ve helped them. I think it’s a very reciprocal relationship. It’s allowed me to find myself, love myself and, most importantly, find my purpose.
For more on Rigsby’s memoir, watch the video above and pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.