Episode 7: Harper Watters
Broadcast date: 6 April 2022
Harper Watters is a highly accomplished dancer with Houston Ballet – but that’s not what got him noticed on social media. The combination of a quick-running treadmill in the gym and a pair of towering pink heels made Harper something of a sensation. His subsequent eye-catching films have won him a serious following on social media and given him a platform to discuss race, sexuality and dance. Harper tells us how he combines a busy life on social media with dancing in one of America’s most prestigious companies, and what it means to be a proud role model to many who might not feel they fit the mould of classical dance.
“Visibility is currency and I don’t think that it has to necessarily be a monetary one. It’s just visibility, the power that holds for people to see that they can do it, they can see other people doing it.”
“I knew that I could dance and I also watched ‘The Real World’, and ‘Queer Eye’, and knew that there were gay people in the performing arts. You know, I put two and two together so it was this real search to be surrounded by people who supported me and uplifted me and the dance studio has always been a place where I can turn the volume up to a ten on who I am.”
Harper Watters has a passion for being bold and unapologetically himself, as evidenced not only in his onstage dancing as a Soloist for the Houston Ballet but in his viral heel treadmill videos. He has over 244,000 followers on Instagram and created the YouTube series The Pre Show, which documents the behind-the-scenes stage life of professional dancers. Harper’s videos have featured on Elle Magazine, Marie Clare, and Urban Outfitters, and he has worked with prominent photographers and magazines. He’s worked with leading choreographers and has performed on international stages and in numerous US cities.
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David Jays: @mrdavidjays
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