A HISTORY-MAKING ballet star who is the only person from Barnsley to graduate from the world-famous Bolshoi academy in Russia has thrown her support behind a ten-day dancing extravaganza.

Tala Lee-Turton, 23, will be meeting local dance schools and watching a special performance evening which will take place on Wednesday as part of Dancing Town, a council-led celebration which kicks off today.

Tala went on to become a professional classical ballet dancer with the Astrakhan State Theatre of Opera and Ballet in Russia.

She said: “I am currently working in Yorkshire providing masterclasses and it’s important to me because there are not a lot of opportunities in London and there are not so many in Yorkshire. I’m Yorkshire born and bred and I want to give back.”

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson, added: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming Tala to Dancing Town. She is a role model and inspiration to every aspiring dancer, not just in Barnsley, but across the country.

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“The event was a huge success last year and it will be even bigger this time around. We’ve got loads of free workshops put on to keep kids active and entertained in the school holidays while there are plenty of opportunities for the adults to dance, too.

“By welcoming names such as Tala, stars of the West End and famous faces like George Sampson to Barnsley, we hope to inspire and motivate the next generation of dancers who can one day follow in Tala’s footsteps.”