It's been quite some time since we've had the pleasure of watching Lauren Anderson do 32 fouettés. The former Houston Ballet star, who became the company's first African American principal dancer in 1990, was famous for her thrilling bravura and for her partnership with Carlos Acosta. Now Houston Ballet's program manager of community engagement and an in-demand master teacher, Anderson, 53, just made a fun announcement on her Instagram page: if Houston Ballet can get enough votes to win at least second place in Aetna's Voices of Health Competition, she says, "I will give you 32 fouettés, right here in this studio—yes I will."
The competition, which is being held in several cities across the U.S., celebrates local non-profit organizations that work to bring positive change to their communities. While Houston Ballet's performances obviously inspire its fans, in this instance the company is being hailed for its community engagement initiatives, such as its Dance for Parkinson's program for adults with Parkinson's Disease, its on and off-site Adapted Dance classes for children with Down Syndrome, and its Autism-Friendly Performances. Houston Ballet is competing with eight other local non-profits for a chance to win a prize of $20,000 (first place) or $10,000 (second place), and the company is depending on votes to make its goal.
Now, Anderson's fouettés were something special...
...and I have the feeling that she's still got 32 inside of her, even after all these years. So if you'd like to take her up on her challenge, click here to vote. And if you don't follow her Instagram account, you need to. Anderson, who teaches master classes all over the country, brings her infectious enthusiasm, humor and trademark sign-off to each and every post.