Native Houstonian 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, and in the process, becoming one of Houston Ballet’s most beloved stars. In 1990 became the first African-American to be promoted to principal dancer at Houston Ballet – and one of the few African-American ballerinas at the head of a major ballet company anywhere in the world. She created the title role in Ben Stevenson’s Cleopatra, and her performance as Cleopatra received accolades from international critics. In January 2007, Ms. Anderson assumed her new role in Houston Ballet’s education department. Her pointe shoes are on display in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.