With six days to go until the release of “Dancing in the Sand,” I thought you might like to get to know a little about the heroine, Ava Woodward. Although busy working on a trial brief for an upcoming trial, she agreed to give us a few minutes of her time.
Q. I understand you were a dancer. What got you started in that field?
A. My mother was an incredible dancer and a dance teacher. Ever since I was a baby, she took me to the studio and set me up in a playpen where I could watch her teach. I loved the classes with the little ones. I couldn’t wait to start myself. When I turned five, I took my first ballet class and was hooked ever since.
Q. You and your roommate at NYU, Carrie Stanhope, planned to audition for a position with a major dance company. What made you drop out?
A. (Sighs) Life. Reality. Sometimes we need to change our plan dependent upon the circumstances. I knew it would be a shot in the dark to be chosen out of hundreds of would-be dancers who’d be auditioning. I decided to be practical and go to law school. A career in law gives me security. I need that.
Q. What type of law do you practice?
A. I work for a firm here in New York City doing environmental litigation. We mainly represent non-profits fighting the natural gas drilling companies from fracking.
Q. That’s a lofty goal.
A. (Nods) I’d like to see the next generations survive without getting sick or dying from chemicals in their drinking water.
Q. I understand your dating, Brian Stanhope, your friend’s brother. How is that going?
A. (Smiles) Good. He’s an amazing guy. And very close with his sister as well as the rest of his family.
Q. How did you meet him?
A. I actually met him a long time ago at his parents’ house in Newport. Carrie had invited me to his graduation party weekend. We had a great time. Really connected. (Lowers lids) Unfortunately, he had a horseback riding accident that weekend, and he didn’t remember me due to a head injury. We lost touch. Until recently.
Q. Doesn’t he work for the family business, Stanhope Natural Gas?
A. He does.
Q. How does that affect your relationship since his company drills for natural gas?
A. We try to stay away from topics that present philosophical differences. He has the right to make a living working in whatever field he chooses. He was destined to work for the family company since he was born. My career has no effect on him.
Q. Do you ever see yourself pitted against each other in the legal arena?
A. (Laughs) No. We’d never let that happen.
Q. Your friend, Carrie, dances with the New York Ballet Company. Any regrets?
A. (Swallows) She’s an amazing dancer and a fabulous performer. I’m so proud of her. She’s doing what she was meant to do. And so am I.
Q. Your mother is a choreographer for “So You Think You Can Dance.” Do you go to any of the performances?
A. My mother moved to L.A. thirteen years ago. I haven’t seen her since.
I’m sorry, but I really have to get back to work. If you need any other information, just read “Dancing in the Sand.” Thank you.