She may only be 11-years-old, but Ava Otto is wise and more established beyond her years. The Los Angeles-based young professional dancer, model and social media influencer has been on an upwards path since she booked her first job at five-years-old, and doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
And while being the child of Limp Bizkit drummer John Otto doesn’t hurt, Ava hasn’t been given anything easily. From working the red carpets, to hard work, determination and long hours practising her craft, the young Otto is an inspiration to other young folks here in the LA region.
We sat down to speak more in-depth with Ava about growing up in LA, her father, and how she has tackled recent bullies in her life.
1. How has it been growing up here in Los Angeles?
I love living in L.A. The pop-culture in our city is prominent. Every day is an adventure because there are always cool things to do and fun places to visit. As a young entertainer I feel lucky to live in the heart of the entertainment industry. There are so many amazing choreographers and acting coaches who teach classes I enjoy taking all over Los Angeles.
2. You are the daughter of someone famous. How has that played a part in your upbringing?
My dad’s fame has never been a big focus in our family, but his career definitely has influenced who I am. I love that I’m being raised in a creative environment. I’m surrounded by so many talented and driven people. I always feel inspired! It’s great to have examples of people who have turned their passions into their careers.
3. Kids and parents can sometimes be mean and bully. How have you been able to deal with bullying at such a young age?
My parents gave me the love and support I needed to understand the bullying wasn’t my fault. It was the insecurity of other people that made them target me. My teachers and so many families were also there for me when I had bad days. I learned not to take it personally. I stayed positive and focused on my goals.
4. Why is it important to you to be outspoken about your experiences such as bullying?
I feel it’s important to share my story because I want to empower other people who are being bullied. I want them to know they aren’t alone and it’s not their fault. I also hope hearing my story may prevent people from being bullies. When I heard stories from people who overcame bullying it gave me hope that things were going to get better for me too. I hope sharing my story will do the same.
5. You have also been able to express yourself through modelling and dance. What are your goals when it comes to these passions of yours?
My dance goals are to continue to grow as an artist, choreograph more pieces and I hope to book more jobs. I definitely plan to continue my career as a dance model. I’ve been an AS Dancewear brand model and mentee for over a year. I love working with the brand founder and my mentor Alison Stroming. I’m continuing on that journey and I hope to do more mainstream print work.
6. How important is social media these days when it comes to promoting who you are?
Social media has been a great way for me to get my name and my work out there. I enjoy sharing different aspects of my life with my followers. Most people know me as a dancer and model, but I’m also an actress and singer. I plan to share more of that on my social media. I’ve received auditions and offers from legitimate casting agents after they discovered my Instagram account. I write my content and engage with my followers, but my parents closely monitor my account.
7. When not dancing or walking red carpets, what do you like to do for fun in LA?
I love to spend time with my friends. I love to shop, hang out at the beach and check out restaurants around the city. Recently, my friends and I started going to amusement parks together. I love roller coasters – the bigger the better! I’m pretty busy for an 11 yr old with school and my career, but I do my best to make time for my friends and family. Having balance is key!
8. Do you have a passion for pursuing music ever like your father?
I booked my first job when I was 5 years old singing songs for educational videos. I took vocal lessons on and off over the last 2 years, but I wasn’t passionate about singing. Recently, I’ve become more interested in consistent vocal training. We’ll see where that takes me. I don’t play any instruments, but if I were to study one I’d love to play an electric guitar. It’s vibe matches my energy!
9. What are your goals for the rest of the year?
School is my #1 priority and I hold myself to pretty high standards. Finishing my school year with great grades is a big goal of mine. I’m also going to spend the rest of this year finalizing some fun projects I have in the works. I’m looking forward to the holidays and spending more time with my family. We’re huge animal-lovers! Another goal is to add a 4th dog to our family!
10. Why do you simply just love LA?
I love L.A. because the possibilities to have fun in our city are endless! I love that I can boogie board at the beach in the morning and take a hike in the desert that evening. During the winter I can take a short road trip to play in the snow or visit an apple orchard. I love to visit our museums and our shopping rocks! I’m looking forward to attending live shows now that we are opening up again.