We had the good fortune of connecting with Madeleine Cruz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Madeleine, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
My workload has changed drastically in recent times. I am still in school working to obtain my Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education before I move into getting my Master’s degree in Social Work next year. Outside of that, I am still dancing. I have been teaching classes on Instagram live as well as private lessons through the platform SuperProf, which has been an absolutely amazing experience thus far. I’m currently plotting on hosting. a MasterClass on that platform, so be on the lookout for that! Outside of dance and school, I have picked up a new venture that I can’t reveal the full details on that, but I can say that it will be released to the public late October and I will be giving a few sneak peeks on my instagram, @itsbdoll, so also be on the lookout for the release of that pretty soon. I have also started a shop on Depop to sell a lot of items, so that has been doing fairly well and I have been having a lot of fun with it. In terms of balance, the beginning was a bit of struggle of holding so many things on my plate, but I’ve adopted the mentality that I can’t complain about having a lot on my plate if my goal is to eat. Thankfully, I have been implementing new methods of balancing all of these different things so that they all can get the proper attention they need in order for them to thrive. Now, I think that I have a better balance of everything than I did before, especially when I prioritized my mental health.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have always been creative. Since childhood, I have loved creating any and everything that I can and I still do. One creative endeavor that I have consistently pursued is dance. I have been dancing for almost 12 years. Now, I’ve moved more out of performing and more into teaching. While I still do perform and I still love performing, I have really enjoyed teaching. Currently, I am primarily teaching privately through SuperProf and that has been an amazing experience. I feel that my career was just beginning to really take off prior to the Coronavirus outbreak, but thankfully, my career didn’t take a complete standstill. Currently, I strongly believe my career in dance is taking off again, which feels absolutely amazing. While still pursuing dance professionally, I have also started a new project that I am beyond excited to release later in October. While I can’t give away too many details right now, I can surely say that it is coming right on time for spooky season. I truly cannot wait to release it and see how the public responds to it. I can easily say that my journey to where I am has not been easy in the slightest. The largest difference I can say between my career now and my career prior to this year is my self confidence. Since dance is a performance art, outside opinions do play an important role. Early in my career, I allowed outside validation to play the biggest role when it shouldn’t have been. Now, I’ve realized that if I am genuinely happy with the content I’m creating and putting and I am fully self-validated with it, that will relay to my audience a lot better and my work is so much more authentic. Not to say that it wasn’t authentic before, but now my audience gets to see more of me and how I am really am through my art, which is why I started dancing in the first, to express myself.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
One thing that people who know me know very well is that I am a huuuuuuuge foodie. I absolutely love to eat and try new foods. I am more of a homebody, but I would happily race out of my house once food is involved. Some of my favorite places to go are Slutty Vegan, which snatched my soul out of my body from I took my first bite, Siva’s Tavern, whose fried cheesecake is God sent, Buenas Pizza, I promise you I saw the gates of Heaven I had their baked ziti, Papi’s Cuban Grill, whose chicken soup got me through my wisdom teeth recovery and my first ever hangover, and Rico Tropical Grill, which not only has authentic and delicious Caribbean cuisine, but amazing customer service. Although I am a homebody, I do like a change of scenery outside of my four walls. I am a massive basketball fan, especially NBA basketball. So, I am so excited for the day that I can go back to State Farm Arena and watch our Hawks continue to soar and thrive. I definitely love Little Five Points and the East Atlanta Village. They have so many fun places to eat and shop and take the cutest pictures.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The biggest shoutout for sure has to go to my mom, Elizabeth King. She has done nothing but support me in every venture that I’ve explored and even ones that I haven’t started exploring yet but have discussed with her. She has dealt with me through the highs and the lows, the tears and the laughs, and the losses and the successes. When I tell people that my mom is my absolute best friend, I truly mean that from the bottom of my heart. I can tell her everything and I do. I truly don’t make any moves, big or small, without getting her input first because I know she knows me and has my best interests at heart. She deserves so much more than just a little credit and recognition because without her, not only would I not be the person I am, but I definitely would not be succeeding and crushing my goals. I am so thankful to God for choosing this absolutely amazing woman to be my mother. Not only am I elated to inherit her great looks, but she is always pushing me to learn and constantly adjust to leveling up and reaching these new heights. Her maiden name may be King, but God for sure gave me a Queen.

Instagram: instagram.com/itsbdoll
Twitter: twitter.com/theonlybdoll
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz2smxkM-pA&feature=youtu.be

Image Credits
Lawrence Cheniv Tayah Sydni Dozier

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