The real life star of Mao’s Last Dancer Li Cunxin was born into utter poverty in Mao’s communist China. In extraordinary moment of chance at the age of 11 he was selected to train in Madame Maos Beijing Dance Academy never having ever heard of let alone seen ballet performed. And so began Lis journey. The 7 years of harsh training regime at the Beijing Dance Academy taught him discipline, resilience, determination and perseverance. Lis astounding drive and relentless hard work made him one of the best dancers China has produced.