Spotlight: Lauren Anderson

Lauren Anderson is known to be the first professional African-American Ballerina. She went professional in 1990. She was born on February 19, 1965, to Lawrence Anderson who was fluent in classical piano pieces. She began her dancing career at the age of seven and joined the Houston’s Ballet Ben Stevenson Academy. In 1983 she joined the Houston Ballet. Stevenson was never shorted of his role in her success.

The real start to her occupation was the role of Cleopatra which she was recognized for internationally. Boston Globe recognized her and named her “a powerhouse in interpreting the role that Stevenson created on her.” Ms. Anderson went on to perform in works of George Balanchine, Sir Kenneth MacMillan and others. Her original role of Cleopatra stuck with her and labeled her with her power and grace, but created by Ben Stevenson. She was a highly reviewed dancer. Anderson received the Special Jury Award at the 1990 International Ballet Competition and the International Critics Award in Chile. By 1999 she was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine.

Courtesy of Google Images.

Courtesy of Google Images.

In 2006 Ms. Anderson retired and has since then joined an outreach program for Houston’s ballet education department. She now teaches master classes in the Houston schools and is a commonly demanded ballet lecturer. She is married to jazz saxophonist and teacher Kyle Turner, and had a son, Lawrence Bell Fitzgerald Tuner.

She holds honors from the Coalition of 100 Black Women, YWCA, the Urban League, Martin Luther King Foundation, Delta Gamma Foundation, Houston City Council, Texas Legislature and Texas Woman’s Chamber of Commerce.

Lauren Anderson is an important icon in African-American Culture because of her advance she made in the Ballet internationally.


Posted on February 21, 2013, in Top Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Thanks for sharing, very inspirational

  2. Wow! I honestly though Misty Copeland among the first. Thank you for this post!

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