Wei-Ying Zhang, 35
When Shanghai-born Zhang was 10, government officials visited her school and chose her to join China's grueling national ballet training program. "Being chosen was a great honor, so it was hard to refuse," she says. She had to leave home and study dance for 12 hours a day. "The regimen was so tough that the trainees often held mass crying sessions." But Zhang says it was worth it. She became a top ballerina with the Shanghai Ballet, traveled the world, and is now a choreographer.