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Lauren Anderson
Ballerina, Houston Ballet

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Listen to curated clips of this oral history:
Clip 1: An African American Ballet Dancer
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Clip 2: Not Playing Clara
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Clip 3: Preparing for a Role
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Clip 4: Role Model
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Clip 5: Teaching
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Download Teacher Questions for this oral history in .pdf format

Biographical Notes
Lauren Anderson is a native of Houston, Texas. She began her dance training at the age of seven at the Houston Ballet Academy, where she was one of the few African American students in the school. She was the second African American woman to join the Houston Ballet.  She became a member of the company at the age of eighteen and rapidly rose through the company’s ranks, dancing lead roles in the most important works within classical ballet such as Swan Lake, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker and Coppellia. Known for her dramatic capability, Anderson’s most notable role was as Cleopatra in Cleopatra, an original, full-length ballet created for Ms. Anderson by then Houston Ballet Artistic Director Ben Stevenson. Age forty-one when the interview was conducted, Ms. Anderson was performing as a principal dancer with the Houston Ballet and was teaching in the company’s school. She was named the Artistic Associate of the company’s then emerging outreach program. She is married and the mother of a son, Lawrence.

Houston Ballet, Houston Ballet Academy, Ben Stevenon, Houston Performing and Visual Arts Academy, ballet, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Cleopatra, Stanton Welch, dance, African American dance, Alpha Kappa Alpha, outreach, arts education.




“Oral Narrative as History.” Students received class credit for this work, and were under the supervision of Dr. Martha Norkunas, director of “The Project in Interpreting the Texas Past.”

Every effort has been made to transcribe the audio recordings exactly. On occasion a word, or phrase, was difficult to hear and this is indicated by a question mark in brackets.

lauren anderson

Lauren Anderson

Clare Croft

Date of Interview:
September 9, September 10, 2006

Wortham Theater, Houston, Texas

Recording Format:
Audio: Edirol digital recorder, Uncompressed wave file
Mini digital videotapes

Erin Murphy

Shannon Morris