Giving a Leap Up

Houston Ballet Announces Young Dancer Scholarship


Houston Ballet is honored to announce the establishment of the Lauren Anderson Young Dancer Scholarship Fund in recognition of Houston Ballet’s first African American Principal Dancer, Lauren Anderson. The annual scholarship will provide vital support in perpetuity for up to four underrepresented artists who aspire to be professional ballet dancers and show great promise in their physical and artistic abilities. Covering the full annual tuition costs, this investment will aid in developing the next generation of elite ballet dancers. The Lauren Anderson Young Dancer Scholarship is Houston Ballet’s first endowed scholarship to be named for a dancer.

“Fifty years ago, I started at the Houston Ballet Academy on scholarship, which gave me the opportunity to begin my journey towards becoming a professional dancer. I never dreamt that I would reach the rank of Principal and wouldn’t have made it that far without initial scholarship assistance,” said Anderson. “To now have a scholarship named after me means everything. I wouldn’t be me without Houston Ballet, and I am so proud that this scholarship will give the next generation of aspiring young dancers from underrepresented communities an opportunity to reach further than they ever thought they could go.”

A native Houstonian, Anderson trained exclusively at Houston Ballet Academy starting at age seven. She joined the professional company in 1983, and in 1990, she became the first African American to be named Principal Dancer at Houston Ballet. Anderson remains one of the few African American artists to hold the highest rank at a major ballet company in the U.S. After a 23-year career with Houston Ballet, Anderson continues inspiring the diverse communities of Houston with ballet through high-quality, community-centric educational programming as Associate Director of Education and Community Engagement.

The Lauren Anderson Young Dancer Scholarship becomes the Academy’s 9th endowed scholarship, with over $500,000 in scholarships awarded per year through the Houston Ballet Foundation. The inaugural Lauren Anderson Young Dancer Scholarship Fund is established with a generous dollar-for-dollar challenge grant from Deborah and Edward Koehler. Supporters can donate to the Fund at

For more information on Houston Ballet, visit

Courtesy: Houston Ballet

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