Ballerina exchanges Barnsley for the Bolshoi

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BALLET star Tala Lee-Turton is set to exchange Barnsley for the Bolshoi after she was offered an extraordinary chance to train with the world famous dance company.

The teenager will embark on a four-year training programme in Moscow in September, one of only a handful of British dancers to make the grade.

While she is there, the 16-year-old, who started dancing when she was four, will have to learn Russian to help her settle and to continue the rest of her academic studies.

As only the ninth British dancer ever to have been offered a place at the prestigious ballet company since it was founded in 1776, she will join an elite group.

For the last five years Tala has been a boarder at Tring Park School for the Performing Arts in Hertfordshire, after winning a coveted Music and Dance Scheme scholarship.

But she has not forgotten her Yorkshire roots, has deliberately kept her Barnsley accent and comes home every weekend to see her mother Sara Turton who lives in Wombwell.

The family will have to find about £80,000 for the four years at the Bolshoi and they are trying to raise £60,000 through sponsorship and donations.

Tala said: “It’s a dream come true. I think if you want to achieve something you get out what you put in. If you want it that much and you work hard enough the chances are you’ll get there.

“That’s what’s happened to me and it’s the best advice I can give.”