Bolshoi ballerina Tala’s plea for help

Tala Turton (left) with mum Sara Turton of Wombwell.
Tala Turton (left) with mum Sara Turton of Wombwell.

A MUM has issued a second, desperate appeal for help to enable her dancer daughter to join the Russian greats at the Bolshoi Ballet Academy.

Tiny Tala Lee-Turton caused great excitement when she won a place to become just the ninth British dancer in the Bolshoi’s 239 year history.

But although she has featured on television, and has her local MP pushing for funding for her, there are still no sponsors who have come forward with financial aid.

The 16-year old of Barnsley Road, Wombwell, hopes to start training in Russia from September, after spending five years at Tring Park School for Performing Arts at Hertfordshire.

Her entry is a great honour, but for her single mum Sara it also presents a problem. Costs including fees, flights and health insurance will amount to over £15,000, of which Sara, who works full-time herself, can fund £5,000.

Sara said: “I don’t think people realise our situation, but many have said Tala will be a great ambassador for Barnsley and Yorkshire, and I know she will be. There’s no mistaking where she comes from as she speaks with a broad Yorkshire accent and this has become even more pronounced since she went down south to Tring. She’s very proud to be from Wombwell and Barnsley.

“She’s also worked incredibly hard to get to this point, training through every school holiday for years. We still have June and July but then we will have to make drastic decisions and it will break Tala’s heart if she can’t realise her dream. There are no scholarships at the Bolshoi or UK grants we can apply for. She needs help to grasp this chance”

Sara is organising two big fundraisers, including a show to be staged at the Dearne Playhouse, Goldthorpe in July, at which Tala will perform with members of her old schoool, Cudworth’s Fearons-Middleton School of Dance. Next month a fun day with sponsored zumbathon is being planned.

Tala is now taking her GCSEs. If she gets to Russia, she will have to learn the language quickly, to study academic subjects with ballet over four years. To help Tala become our ambassador visit