Lauren Anderson danced with Houston Ballet from 1983 to 2006, performing leading roles in all the great classical ballets and appearing around the globe to critical acclaim. She trained exclusively at Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy from the age of seven, later joining the company as a member of the Corps de Ballet, and receiving promotions to Soloist in 1987, and to Principal Dancer in 1990. She was the first African-American in Houston Ballet to to become a principal dancer.
Ms. Anderson’s performances have received accolades from international critics. Anna Kisselgoff, dance critic for The New York Times, compared her to the great Italian actress Eleanora Duse; Christine Temin of The Boston Globe pronounced her “a powerhouse in interpreting the role [of Cleopatra]… created on her.”
In 1990, Ms. Anderson received The Special Jury Award in the USA International Ballet Competition and in 1996, the International Critics award in Chile. In April 1999, she was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine. She has been featured in People and Pointe magazines, as well as on television. She has been honored by The Martin Luther King Foundation, Coalition of 100 Black Women, YWCA, the United States Congress among others, and in 2000, Ms. Anderson was chosen to be an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. In 2017, she received the Texas Medal of Arts Award for her contribution to the dance world.
In addition to teaching master classes in conservatory programs around the world, Ms. Anderson works in Houston Ballet’s education department where she conducts master classes at area schools, and lectures to students on dance and her historic career. Her pointe shoes are on display in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Lauren can be seen on the Netflix documentary “Dancer’s Dreams: Hot Chocolate Nutcracker!”