TINY dancer Tala Lee Turton is finally on her way to Moscow to join the Russian greats of the ballet world.
But only a last-minute donation from an anonymous benefactor and tireless fundraising by Tala and her mum, Sara Turton, have made her dream of joining the prestigious Bolshoi Academy possible.
Tala, 16, of Barnsley Road, Wombwell, is just the ninth British dancer to win a place with the Bolshoi in its 239 year history.
Her flight to the Russian Capital is now booked, so she can begin her training there in September, after spending five years at Tring Park School for Performing Arts at Hertfordshire.
Tala’s single mum Sara launched an appeal for her daughter this year, after Tala fell in love with the Bolshoi training methods while attending classes with the Bristol Russian Ballet School.
Chika Temma and Yury Demakov from Bristol, said of Tala: “We are very confident that this opportunity will help her to become a professional ballet dancer. She is very controlled, physically and mentally, and is a very intelligent and talented young dancer.”
Sara needed to find at least £15,000 for Tala’s first year in Russia, including travel, health insurance and tuition fees. A zumbathon staged at Barnsley this month has helped to reach that target.
The mum said it would have “broken Tala’s heart” if she could not take up the coveted place due to lack of funds. Her daughter has worked incredibly hard for years, sacrificing holidays and representing Yorkshire whenever possible, she said, adding that Tala’s natural ability is fuelled by passion and great determination.
Their efforts were backed by Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher, who urged local people to back her as a worthy ambassador.
Tala will now have a final few classes at Bristol before saying her goodbyes to everyone at home.
Sara will continue fundraising towards three further years at Moscow for Tala. Anyone wishing to help should visit www.gofundme.com/mOjvk