Mary Li (formerly Mary McKendry) joined the London Festival Ballet (English National Ballet) in 1977 and was promoted through the ranks to Principal Dancer in 1981. In 1985, Mary joined Houston Ballet as a Principal Dancer. During her performing career, Mary danced principal roles in all the major classical ballets, such as Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Romeo and Juliet and The Nutcracker. She also danced leading roles in contemporary ballets and many new ballets were created on her. She has worked with legendary teachers, choreographers, artistic directors and artists, including Rudolf Nureyev, Margot Fonteyn and Ben Stevenson. Mary and her husband Li Cunxin have danced together all over the world. After returning to Melbourne when her daughter Sophie was six, Mary spent 15 years part-time with the Australian Ballet as a coach, using that same drive to make her students the best, and for the last ten years has been Ballet Mistress with the Queensland Ballet where her husband, Li Cunxin, is artistic director. Together they have turned the company into one with worldwide recognition and acclaim, taking it to London and China.