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  • Mao's Last Dancer
  • The Importance Of Family Values
  • Human Achievements
  • Determination
  • The Process Of Realizing One's Dreams
  • Rise Up To Challenges
  • Commitment And Focus
  • Embracing Changes
  • Continuous Improvement And Positive Attitude
  • Dare To Make Tough Choices
  • Goal Setting And Achieving Against Impossible Obstacles And Odds
  • Performance Process To Excellence
  • Successful Career Transition
  • China Related Topics


After Dinner Speaker | Change | Inspiration | Personal Development | Author | Entertainment


Li Cunxin (pronounced Lee Schwin-Sing) is a remarkable man borne of a remarkable story. In his international best selling autobiography, Mao's Last Dancer, published by Penguin-Australia in September 2003, he recounts his determination, perseverance, vision, courage and hard work, and, in particular, the sacred family values and integrity that he learned in poverty-stricken China, which has driven him to become one of the best dancers in the world. He tells of how the sixth of seven sons born to peasants grew up worshipping Mao Zedong before defecting to the United States.

At the age of eleven, Mr. Cunxin was selected to train in Madame Mao's Beijing Dance Academy. The seven years of harsh training regime at the Beijing Dance Academy taught him discipline, resilience, determination and perseverance. His astounding drive and relentless hard work made him one of the best dancers China has produced.

When he was 18, Li Cunxin was awarded one of the first cultural scholarships to go to America, and subsequently was offered a soloist contract with the Houston Ballet. Two years later, he defected to the West in a dramatic media storm, which involved the top leaders of both China and America. He went on win two silver and a bronze medal at three International Ballet Competitions. In 1995, he and his family moved to Australia where he danced his last three and half years as a principal dancer with the Australian Ballet.

During his final two years of dancing, Mr. Cunxin studied finance at the Australian Securities Institute with a view of becoming a stockbroker. This meant rising at five in the morning to start his daily ballet practise, then racing to the stock exchange by eight. By the time he joined the rest of the company's dancers for afternoon rehearsals; he had already put in a full day's work. He made a successful career transition from ballet to finance in 1999. He is a senior manager at one of the largest stockbroking firms in Australia.

The rich story of Li Cunxin's inspirational life, recounted in his memoir Mao's Last Dancer, quickly rose to No. 1 on the Australian Non-Fiction Best-Seller List and was named in's Break-Out Books list after its US release before receiving the Christopher Award for Literature. His book went on to win the Book of the Year Award in Australia and was short-listed for several other prestigious literacy awards. In its 34th reprint, his book has been translated into several foreign languages and is sold in over 20 countries worldwide. The Academy Award winning producer and screenplay writer of the film Shine, have teamed up to produce a featured film based on his extraordinary life.

Mr. Cunxin is one of the most highly sought-after inspirational and motivational speakers on the international speaking circuit today. Inspiration and motivation are rare things in life, but they are so essential to achieve excellence in life. His experiences are real; his journey is incredible; his story is true, which is that much more effective and powerful. He has the ability to make people cry and make people laugh. His experiences relates to all industries and professions. The impact of his story is long lasting.

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  • Mao's Last Dancer

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