Name: Mey Jen Tillyer Age: 39. Occupation: Oriental dance teacher, belly dancer and performer. Career Path: I was born and schooled in Toronto. I went to university in British Columbia and qualified as a landscape technician, but after a few years I decided I liked dancing better. I started taking lessons in Oriental and Middle Eastern dance as a teenager and after I quit my job in the early 80s I started dancing for a living. I attended several schools and learned from some well-known artists. There is no recognised school and certification system for this art form, but the schools I went to are well recognised within the field of Middle Eastern dance. I came to Hong Kong for a visit in 1985 and ended up staying for a year. In 1990 I came back and started dancing at the Fringe Club. I am now an established Oriental dance teacher in Hong Kong, I have built up my own dance troupe and we do regular shows. Mey Jen's Day: My children have changed my life somewhat, but my passion is still dancing. I have taught from the studio at Jean Wong's School of Ballet, from the roof of my building, from basically anywhere with some space. I now turn down as much performance work as I accept as I don't want to be too busy and I have a small, but regular school of pupils and followers. I have five group classes a week and I teach yoga on Thursdays. Sometimes I do a show alone and sometimes with my troupe of dancers. We perform for corporate clients, annual balls, hotels, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, private parties, you name it. I'm fairly established in Hong Kong and work tends to come to me. A show usually lasts about 30 minutes and I charge $3,500 for a performance. I take every chance I get to rehearse, and sometimes I work out the music while my child is sleeping, work out a sequence in front of the mirror, or tap out an idea while standing in a queue. In Middle eastern dance, belly dancing is the highest form, it is something you develop your whole life. The interpretation is limitless; there are 1,001 ways to use your hips while articulating your shoulder, for example. It's versatile, full of potential and very creative: that's why I love it. Now that I am a mature dancer I don't crave for adoration anymore, I strive towards spirituality in my dance, to see just how perfect it can be. Salary: About $20,000 a month. It could be a lot more if I was prepared to do more. Ambition: Stay in Hong Kong and someday have a fully fledged dance school Name: Fiona Brockway Age: 33. Occupation: Principal dancer with the Hong Kong Ballet. Career Path: My aunt was a dance teacher and when I was six she took me to see Giselle. From that moment my career decision was made. I had thought of becoming an astronaut but my mother suggested I try ballet first since the training was cheaper. I was accepted by the Royal Ballet School when I was 10 years old which was incredible: out of 5,000 children they only accepted 20. Every year all the pupils were assessed and some were thrown out for putting on weight, getting too tall, for bad attitude and so on. The pressure on us was always high. At 15, I moved to the Upper School and was accepted into the Royal Ballet Company when I finished. I married in 1989, but stayed with the Company until I was a junior principal. About five years ago I took a year's leave of absence and joined my husband working in the Virgin Islands. We moved to Hong Kong three years ago and although I just wanted to be a mum I got inundated with job offers. I took a job as principal dancer with the Hong Kong Ballet soon after. Fiona's Day: I get up early every morning so I can have breakfast with my daughter, get her ready for playschool and take her to the bus. I have to be out by 9am for the class at 10am for about 90 minutes of training. We break for lunch and rehearse until 6pm. In production week we start later at noon. 12pm with our class, rehearsals until 5.30 and then we start the performance at 7.30pm and finish by around 10.30pm. By the time I have my make-up off, have showered, eaten and got home it can be around 1am. On Saturdays I practice and rehearse until 1.30pm and then if we are doing a show there will be one in the afternoon and one that evening. Dancing has been my life for as long as I can remember, which means that despite the fact I love food I have been on a diet most of my life. I have enjoyed dancing for the Hong Kong Ballet, but I do miss touring, the star performances, receptions with Royalty and other celebrities, and performing to big audiences. The good side is that I spend more time with Holly. In London I'd be doing at least five shows a week. Here, five a month is a lot. To dance my heart out to an entire orchestra and to be able to act out my interpretation of roles is still a great thrill for me even after 20 years. Salary: ...... Ambition: To have more children, but also dance Juliet in Sir Kenneth Macmillan's Romeo and Juliet. Maybe do some more contemporary dancing with the Netherlands Dance Theatre someday.