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Honorary Member – Li Cunxin

For a dancer, nothing is more precious than a healthy, injury-free body—this is crucial for an artist to flourish. Throughout my long dancing career I was supported by the ever-expanding knowledge and skills of dance health professionals, teachers, and directors. Now, as an artistic director myself, I am aware of the scientific research that lies behind these improvements in dancers’ well-being, and the importance of IADMS in disseminating knowledge that will improve dancers’ lives and performance now and into the future.

Li Cunxin


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Li Cunxin was born in rural China. At the age of 11 he was selected for the seven-year training at Beijing Dance Academy, and was subsequently selected to go to Houston Ballet as a cultural exchange student. He then defected, and danced with Houston Ballet as a principal dancer for sixteen years, performing around the world and winning medals at three international ballet competitions. In 1995, Li became a principal dancer with The Australian Ballet. At age 35, he studied stockbroking part-time, eventually retiring from dancing to become a senior manager at one of Australia’s biggest stockbroking firms. Li recently returned to dance as Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet. His 2003 autobiography, Mao's Last Dancer and the 2009 film of the book have both won many prestigious international awards. Li and his wife, Mary McKendry, have two daughters and a son.

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