Every parent knows that raising children involves sacrifice. Just how much sacrifice depends on many factors. For Mary Li, her sacrifice was giving up a passion she had pursued for most of her life. Mary is Li Cunxin’s wife and was his dancing partner. You may know Li’s story already from his memoir, Mao’s Last Dancer when he tells the story of his impoverished childhood in China, and how he came to be an international ballet star.
Mary and he met when they were both performing with the Houston Ballet Company. They danced together, fell in love and eventually started a family. Mary has written about what happened next in her memoir, Mary’s Last Dance: The untold story of the wife of Mao’s Last Dancer. Mary talks about how she first fell in love with ballet, and why she gave it all up.