School of Music, Theatre and Dance

Ballerina Lauren Anderson to be in residence at Oakland University Oct. 25-29

Anderson will be teaching master classes in ballet and working with OU dancers

icon of a calendarOctober 20, 2023

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Ballerina Lauren Anderson to be in residence at Oakland University Oct. 25-29
Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson

From October 25-29, ballerina Lauren Anderson — one of the first African American dancers to become a principal for a major dance company, the Houston ballet — will be in residence at Oakland University for a “Dance Showcase” sponsored by the Judd Family Endowed Fund.

“The OU Dance Department is happily preparing for Lauren Anderson’s return to campus for her second teaching and choreographic residency with OU dance majors,” said Greg Patterson, associate professor and chair of the Dance Department at OU. “This year, Ms. Anderson will set a classical variation from the famous ballet, Coppelia.

“In addition, Ms. Anderson will teach several technique classes to the majors, and teach an open class where students from Detroit School of Arts and other DPS schools will attend,” Patterson added.

The classes are free and will take place at noon in room 109 in Varner Hall on the OU campus.

The work Anderson choreographs with the students will be premiered in the Dance Department’s December concert, which will take place from Nov. 30 – Dec. 3 in Varner Recital Hall.

For more information, contact Dr. Elizabeth Kattner at

About Lauren Anderson

Lauren Anderson danced with Houston Ballet from 1983 to 2006, performing leading roles in all the great classical ballets, appearing across the world to critical acclaim audience, and in the process, becoming one of Houston Ballet’s most beloved stars. 

She trained exclusively at Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy from the age of seven. She joined Houston Ballet in 1983 as a Corps de Ballet and in 1990 became the first Black principal dancer at Houston Ballet. She is also one of the few Black ballerinas at the head of a major ballet company anywhere in the world.

In January 2007, Anderson transitioned into Houston Ballet’s Education and Community Engagement department, where she conducts free dance programming for Houston area schools, and lectures to students on her historic career as one of America’s most distinguished African-American ballerinas.

In the spring of 2016, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture awarded her with a permanent exhibit. In fall of 2021 was inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. Most recently, a production chronicling her life, Plumshuga, premiered at Stages Theater.

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