Tala Lee-Turton backs Dancing Town

Barnsley ballet dancer – only third British female graduate of Bolshoi Ballet Academy – becomes advocate of free 10-day dance extravaganza

Tala Lee-Turton – the Barnsley raised professional ballet dancer and one of just three British women to graduate from the world famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy – has shown her support to Dancing Town, the free, 10-day dance extravaganza that will be staged in Barnsley town centre this August.

Twenty-three-year-old Tala – who originally trained at her local dance school, Fearons Middleton School of Dance in Cudworth, Barnsley –has shown her support for the festival which takes place between Friday 9 and Sunday 18 August.

Tala will meet local dance schools and spectators on Wednesday 14 August – part of a special performance evening that will also feature winner of Britain’s Got Talent George Sampson.

Tala’s talent has taken her on a journey from Barnsley to the renowned Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Moscow, Russia. In 2016, she made history as she became only the third female graduate of the academy in its 245 year history.

Since graduating and returning to the UK, Tala has worked with the English National Ballet and Astrakhan State Theatre Opera and Ballet. She has performed in Christopher Wheeldon’s Cinderella-in-the-round at the Royal Albert Hall and on international tours of Italy and China.

She is also a champion of the Barnsley Civic – Barnsley’s renowned arts centre.

Tala said: “I’m delighted to show my support to Dancing Town, this really is a fantastic event that encourages people of all ages and abilities to dance.

“There's lots of scientific evidence now that shows dance is good for you, not only for your physical health and wellbeing but also for your mental health. So events like these are incredibly important for the local community, especially as they’re more accessible with the workshops being either completely free or affordable.

“As a professional classical dancer, I’m constantly performing and working on many different projects, so I see first-hand how the art form inspires lots of people.  I particularly enjoy working with young people and encouraging the dancers of tomorrow who feedback such positive energy from my masterclasses and private coaching. 

“I’m excited to attend the event and would encourage people from across Barnsley and the local area to come and have a dance. I’m looking forward to seeing the people of Barnsley and thanking them for the support they’ve showed me throughout my career. It’s always great to come back home, especially to events like these.”

Cllr Tim Cheetham, Cabinet Spokesperson for Place at Barnsley Council, said: “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.

“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.

“But most of all, we really want to show off just why we’re becoming renowned for being a dancing town!”

View the full Dancing Town programme here.

This news is linked to Town Spirit, our new way of working better together. When it comes to the redevelopment of our town centre, we want you to #LoveIt as we continue to #BuildIt .

#OwnIt by visiting Barnsley town centre regularly, spending your money locally, attending events and positively promoting your town.

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