Tuesday, November 17, 2009
GetToKnowTheBook: Dancing in Time by Violet Rightmire.
Interview with Ballerina Hadleigh Brent
Welcome! Today we are interviewing Hadleigh Brent, the ballerina protagonist from the book Dancing in Time, by Violet Rightmire. We’re going to do a little question-and-answer session with Hadleigh and find out what it’s like being a real-life ballerina.
Q: Hello Hadleigh. Thank you for doing this interview.
A: You’re welcome. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Q. First of all, I must get clarification on this: You said you are a very shy person. How is that possible for someone in your profession?
A: Well, I don’t think being shy is unusual in my field at all. I know many shy dancers. Oh, there are those that are the exact opposite, of course, but I think lots of performing artists are introverts. After all, onstage everything is spelled out with choreography or a scripted dialogue, and all of that is rehearsed over and over. Little is left to chance. You can’t say that about real life!
Q: I see. In other words, you’re saying performing artists don’t like unexpected things.
A: (Hadleigh furrows her brow) Hmmm. I don’t know about that. Maybe.
Q: Okay. Let’s switch gears here with a question I’ve heard lots of people ask: How many hours a day do you spend dancing?
A: Well, it varies depending on whether we are on tour, at home, or performing. But generally we start with a ballet class at 9:30 in the morning, followed by rehearsals until about 7:00. Unless it’s a performance day. Then we come in a bit later, say, 10:30. We’ll have a warm-up class followed by a light rehearsal on stage. Then we’ll do a matinee performance, an evening performance, or both.
Q: Wow. That’s quite a schedule. Do you ever have a chance to do anything besides dance?
A: Oh yes. I manage to fit in a few other things. (Hadleigh smiles slightly).
Q: What I’m getting to is this: I’ve heard there is someone special in your life. Would you like to share a bit about him?
A: (Hadleigh blushes). Well yes, there is certain someone. His name is Doctor Collins.
Q: How interesting! What sort of Doctor is he?
A: (Hadleigh fidgets). Hmmm. He’s an … an … unusual one.
Q: Unusual? In what way?
A: In lots of ways. (Hadleigh continues to fidget).
Q: What kind of ways, exactly?
A: Lots of different ways. (Hadleigh’s fidgeting increases).
Q: Come on now! You’re not going to share anything more about him?
A: (Hadleigh shifts uncomfortably) Well, I can tell you that he is wonderful and handsome, with riveting blue eyes and dark hair. My friend Jann thinks he looks a little like Elvis, but with a more chiseled face. He’s more rugged-looking than Elvis, I guess. (Hadleigh continues to fidget and looks at her watch).
Q: You seem uncomfortable. I’m not keeping you too long, am I?
A: Well, I really have to go now. My rehearsal starts in a half hour and I need to prepare. But I thank you for the interview. (Hadleigh practically jumps to her feet and vanishes out the door).
Interviewer: My goodness! It appears that I hit a nerve! I think our ballerina is hiding something….
Excerpt from Dancing in Time by Violet Rightmire:
She noticed him as soon as they sat down. He sat alone at the counter, absorbed in his lunch, which included a ham sandwich and a large glass of milk. He looked out of place somehow, like he should be sporting a black tie, caressing a stemmed glass, and leaning suggestively against a mantel—not eating a meal in an old dime store.
Hadleigh nudged Jann under the table and jabbed her fork in his direction.
“What’s wrong with that picture?” she demanded. “I can’t put my finger on it.”
Jann studied him as she opened her napkin.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. He’s cute.” She giggled. “He looks a little like Elvis Presley.”
Hadleigh looked at him out of the corner of her eye. He did look a little like Elvis, but not quite so baby-faced. His chin was chiseled, but not too extreme, and his cheekbones were high, but not overly pronounced. His body was well developed with a deep tan, his hands large and strong. He looks like the kind of man you could put your confidence in.
“He just seems so out of place somehow,” she said finally.
“Well, I would consider Elvis being here definitely out of place.” Jann’s eyes twinkled. “I know what it is! It’s the milk. REAL men don’t drink milk,” She winked.
Hadleigh laughed. “Not in public, you mean.”
Jann returned her gaze to the counter, and then looked back at Hadleigh with what had come to be known as That Look.
Hadleigh faked a groan. “Oh no. I don’t even want to hear this.”
“I think you should send him a refill on his milk.”
Hadleigh stifled a laugh, leaned across the table and stared under her eyebrows at Jann. “I don’t recall asking you to be the Entertainment Director on the cruise ship of my life.”
“You didn’t. I volunteered. See a need and fill it...”
“Hmmmph!” Hadleigh straightened up and smiled. “In other words, I’m stuck with you and your creative meddling.”
Jann nodded. “Absolutely.”
“Why don’t you send him a refill, since you’re feeling all this motivation?”
“No, he’s more your type. The milk and all.”
Hadleigh kicked her under the table. “It would be fun, but I don’t...”
“I dare you. Look, here comes the waitress. Come on, do something risky for a change. You might even like it.”
Dancing in Time is available from The Wild Rose Press in e-format and print.
Violet Rightmire is a former ballerina herself who now writes dance-themed romances.