Wombwell teenager Tala Lee-Turton is only the ninth British dancer to have ever won a place at the Russian Bolshoi Ballet Academy.
But she says she will “never forget” winning last year’s Proud of Barnsley Young Superstar award. Now at the world famous academy almost 2,000 miles away in Moscow, she wrote on her blog: “I felt so happy to have my Barnsley roots, of which I am so proud, celebrated – I won’t forget it.” She described her bronze statuette as “fabulous.”
Apart from Sundays, Tala, 17, attends classes daily in subjects such as gymnastics, historical and modern dance, make-up, and pointe work – standing on the tips of the toes.
Her first year’s study was only made possible by donations and the fundraising efforts of her mum, Sara Turton. Sara raised £15,000 towards the £20,000 costs – and fundraising continues to keep Tala in training.
Tala’s last visit home was at Christmas and she immediately tucked into her favourite home-made mango smoothie. She visited friends, family and her former dancing teachers at Fearons Middleton School of Dance in Cudworth.
She was also special guest at her old school, Carlton Primary, where pupils did a sponsored dance to raise funds. Tala said: “It’s so touching to have people organising events like this for me. I’m extremely thankful.”
The Young Superstar award recognises the many achievements of children and young people, aiming to challenge stereotypes and highlight the young role models who have made our district a better place to live.
The following points are intended as guidelines only, to help you with your nomination.
- Your nominee may have helped to save a life or shown or demonstrated tremendous courage.
- They may have overcome a serious illness or helped care for a relative at home.
- They may be involved in raising funds or awareness for a cause close to their hearts – it’s not just about the amount of money raised; it’s about determination and a passion for the cause.
- We are also looking for nominations for children who have excelled in academia, the performing arts or sport.
- The young person may have supported a green project or has demonstrated a keen awareness and need for sustainability and sensitivity in the way we impact on our environment.
Telephone: 01226 773950www.barnsley.gov.uk
Experience Barnsley is the new Museum of Barnsley, opening in just a few weeks.
Galleries will share our stories from thousands of years ago to the present day. Hundreds of people have donated objects to make the museum happen. It’ll be free to enter, open all year round and fascinating for all the family.
Councillor Linda Burgess, spokesperson for Development, Environment and Culture (Strategy, Programmes and Projects), said: “It’s fantastic to be working in partnership with the Proud of Barnsley Awards to celebrate Barnsley people and their achievements.
“Displays in the museum each year will show who the winners have been, what they’ve done and the difference they’ve made. Special portraits have been taken of last year’s winners for the new museum already and we look forward to this year’s winners taking pride of place too.
“Experience Barnsley is all about Barnsley. It’s about sharing the stories of our town and borough with visitors, future generations and each other. Looking back, there have been good times, exciting times and hard times, too. But lots to be proud of, people to be proud of and to inspire us going into the future.
“We’re really excited about supporting this category. At home, work and in their communities, our young people achieve a great deal and the Proud of Barnsley Awards are a wonderful opportunity to share what they’ve done, to recognise them and celebrate their achievements. “It might be about excelling at something, about doing well, but it’s just as much about making a difference to the people around them, about overcoming adversity or supporting others. Barnsley has got a past to be proud of. Our young people will make our future and we’re really pleased to be supporting their efforts.
“I’m rightly proud of Barnsley, its people, culture, services and ambitions for the future. Despite the challenges, Barnsley’s ambitions are high and the friendly nature of the people, their hard work, humour and community spirit make the borough a great place to live and work.
“As a town we have a long history of innovation, creativity, achievement in sport, the arts, education and industry. As people, we have a proud sense of community and of the need to support those around us. The two go hand in hand.
“As a councillor, it makes me proud to see the often unheralded efforts that go on within communities that provide a platform for individuals, families and groups to meet personal challenges and achieve excellence. We have many examples of those who go on to bigger things and who contribute to national life through their talents and skills.”
Councillor Linda Burgess
Spokesperson for Development, Environment & Culture (Strategy, Programmes & Projects)