You may have seen Harper Watters before thanks to his viral video where he and his best friend dawned pink stilettos while strutting their stuff on treadmills…
But theres much more than meets the eye with this down-to-earth, all-inclusive, inspiring human being. Quirktastic got the chance to speak with Harper on his successes, setbacks and hopes for the future.
Harper is currently a soloist with the Houston Ballet, the fourth largest ballet company in the United States. Having started his journey with the company in 2009, he’s consistently breaking boundaries. As an adopted, black, gay man, he’s faced negativity from all avenues but is a solid believer in self-acceptance and inclusivity being the tickets to success.
“My whole career has been that I had the ability to dance and take on goals but I didn’t have the confidence in myself at first…I was held back on the fact that I thought I had to be someone else.”
“I achieved the levels I wanted to be at when I was able to accept who I was.”
A turning point for Harper was the “Ballet Boys Workout” viral video. Overnight Harper’s Instagram numbers skyrocketed. Along with this came voices of both positivity and negativity, stating that he wasn’t a legitimate artist or performer, but he didn’t let that stop his mission.
“Theres always going to be people who want to tear you down but also there will always be people who love you. So no matter what you have to do things to the best of your ability.”
When we asked Harper what it means to be a black, gay, ballet dancer in 2018 he had this to say:
“It’s a really special thing, honestly. I’m really proud to be a small part of such a big movement. Its kind of this task I’ve been given to do my best and achieve my goals and show future generations that they can achieve their goals too”.
Anyone knows that perfecting your craft takes time and patience. In 2015, he won the Princess Grace Award, a foundation that identifies and assists emerging talent in the arts. During his admission video Harper fell out of a turn and stopped his performance. It was from his Ballet Director, that Harper learned a valuable piece of advice that he not only applies to dance but also to life:
“You’re never going to get the perfect wave. Its about how you ride the wave you’re given.”
Harper wants to continue spreading his positivity through dance and other means of art by inclusivity. His message for the World is that:
“Instead of identifying what makes us different—try to identify the similarities and what we can do to build on that and create something more. Try and find something that you share with someone. Its more heart-warming and good for the future of creativity.”