David McAllister AM (b. 1963) is the Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet. Born in Perth, he began studying ballet there in the early 1970s, weathering harassment from both schoolmates and teachers for his love of dance. At seventeen he left for Melbourne and further training at the Australian Ballet School, joining the Australian Ballet in 1983, winning bronze at the Fifth International Ballet Competition in Moscow in 1985, and being promoted to principal artist with the company in 1989. Working under successive artistic directors Maina Gielgud and Ross Stretton, McAllister’s major roles included those in Onegin, Romeo and Juliet, La Fille mal gardee, Don Quixote, The Sentimental Bloke, Coppelia, Manon, La Sylphide, Sinfonietta and Stepping Stones. As a guest artist he has danced with the Bolshoi Ballet, the Kirov Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Singapore Dance Theatre, among other companies. Having made his final appearance as dancer in Giselle in 2001, he became the Australian Ballet’s Artistic Director shortly afterwards, and has since overseen the creation of new productions of Swan Lake (2002) and Sleeping Beauty (2015).