What Viral Fame Taught Houston Ballet Star Harper Watters

The heel-donning soloist shares his deepest insights, from dealing with trolls to living with purpose.

By Mike Sheffield
Originally Published: 

In 2017, soloist Harper Watters broke the internet with a dazzling ballet performance while wearing towering bubblegum heels atop a treadmill. The video, entitled “Ballet Boys Workout,” would go on to delight legions of admirers from all different walks of life, including the modern dance world, the queer community, and mainstream audiences, earning Watters accolades on daytime television, in magazines, and around the world.

And yet, for the 29-year-old soloist, the best is yet to come.

Born in Atlanta, Georgia, and raised in Dover, New Hampshire, Watters always knew that he was born to be a dancer. “As a kid I was obsessed with music videos,” Watters says. “I’ve always connected to music and rhythm. I also suffer from only child syndrome, so I feed off of attention.” Fortunately for the young artist, Watters’ parents were huge supporters, and by the age of 11, Watters had joined a competitive dance studio.