Lauren Anderson

Lauren Anderson is not your typical ballerina. For starters, she’s no waif. Born with what she calls a “track runner’s body,” the 35-year-old Houston native has a wisecracking sense of humor and a love for sports. She even hosts her own football show on a Houston radio station. But her determination and training at the Houston Ballet Academy, where she started dancing at the age of 7, launched her to her current position as the most famous ballerina working in Texas. Since 1990, when she became a principal dancer with the Houston Ballet, she has taken on the great classical roles, gaining the world’s attention in 1997 when she performed Don Quixote opposite superstar Carlos Acosta at the Kennedy Center. This month the Houston Ballet’s artistic director, Ben Stevenson, unveils his new $1.2 million theatrical production, Cleopatra, which Stevenson choreographed specifically for her. The role of Egypt’s ambitious queen is a perfect match: Anderson is certainly not short on drive. “I want to do every role I can do,” she says. “Do you know the saying, ‘I’m every woman’? I want to be every woman.”

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