TALENTED teenager Tala Lee-Turton has become the first Yorkshire dancer ever to secure a place at the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy.
Only eight British students have studied at the Bolshoi in its 239-year history.
But the budding ballerina will have to travel thousands of miles and learn a new language to take up her place - and her family is now raising funds to help cover the cost.
Tala, aged 16, needs to cover fees of around £10,000 a year and learn Russian before she can head east in September.
Tala’s mother, Sara, said: “There will also be air fares and health insurance to cover. Training at the Bolshoi Academy will boost Tala’s career prospects immensely, providing her with the opportunity of a career across Europe and the rest of the world.
“She will have to learn Russian in the first year so she can study academic subjects in the second to fourth years – all delivered in Russian – alongside the four-year dance programme.”
The fundraising campaign is being backed by her family’s MP Michael Dugher, who represents Barnsley East.
He said: “The Bolshoi is one of the premier dance companies in the world and it is fantastic Tala has been offered this incredible opportunity.
“Only eight British students have studied at the Bolshoi in its 239-year history and Tala will be the first from Barnsley and indeed the first from Yorkshire. I am going to do all I can to drum up support.”
Tala initially trained at Fearons-Middleton School of Dance in Barnsley and attended outreach programmes of the Royal Ballet, Northern Ballet and the Yorkshire Ballet Scholarship Centre.