Can you tell us about yourself?
My name is Madaline Riley. I sometimes go by ‘Mad Linez.’ I’m from Boston, Massachusetts, and I got into dancing at a very young age.
I was put into a more traditional dance school in my neighborhood [that taught] tap, jazz, musical theater, and ballet. [My focuses] definitely switched up later in life, but that’s how I began.
How has your relationship with your craft evolved?
My transition from being someone who just takes dance in their youth into being an artist probably started happening when I was still in Boston in my late teens.
I started seeking out other areas of dance that I felt would help me express myself more outside of the styles that I had been put into by my family or the environment that I was in. That point is when I started exploring myself more creatively and taking my exploration of movement into my own hands.
“I’m the type of artist that is equally input and output.
I like to take in tons of things from all different types of people.”
What are some of your other interests?
Dance is my first love, but I also love painting. I am interested in film and motion graphics– all coming from my interest in movement and applying movement to other mediums of art. I was a film-head growing up.
My dance has always been informed by my love of painting and my love of films. I feel they’re not too separate for me.
How do you spark creativity?
There’s a lot of nights where I just research random stuff. Having the time to explore the things that I’ve always been curious about has definitely kept me curious throughout the days. If I spend one night researching some other artist’s full life’s work, I wake up with questions stirring for me that keep the ball rolling.
I’m the type of artist that is equally input and output. I like to take in tons of things from all different types of people.
Do you have any advice on overcoming a creative block?
At this point, every day is rolling into the other one. Whatever idea is in your head, just do it and don’t think about it too much.
This is coming from somebody who needs to hear this themself, because I tend to overthink a lot of my creations but just roll with the idea that just feels the most accessible to you at the moment.
“Madaline “Mad Linez” Riley is a dance artist working in film, painting, and performance. She loves experiencing the body’s many states and possibilities through her own physical exploration as well as collaboration with others. No matter what the end result may be, she aims to keep the impulse for her work within the body. She is currently working on her first long-form dance performance, “When Skin Feels Like Glass.”
She graduated with a B.A. in Fine Arts from Loyola Marymount University, where she focused on the roles of movement in other art forms such as painting, drawing, and film. She has gone on to perform for artists and brands such as Dua Lipa, Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, TOKiMONSTA, Puma x Balmain and more. She has appeared in ads for Apple, Tik Tok, Oakley, and Buzzfeed and in features for Vogue Portugal, NOWNESS, and Eighty Nine Magazine. She is also an active member in the underground dance scene across the U.S. and is the creative director of the street dance collective, The Lot Original.”