A YORKSHIRE ballet star who became only the third ever British female to graduate from the world-famous Bolshoi Ballet Academy will perform at Scarborough Spa next month with The Russian State Ballet.

When Tala Lee-Turton took up ballet at the age of four in her home town of Barnsley, little did she know that 17 years later she would be making history. For it’s been just over a year since the ballet dancer became one of only three British females to graduate from the Bolshoi Ballet Academy in Russia, one of the most prestigious ballet schools in the world.

Soon after graduating last year, Tala went on to secure a coveted place at the Astrakhan State Opera and Ballet Theatre.

She is now one of a select group of British dancers who has made the transition from student to professional in Russia, with a job at one of the prestigious state-funded classical ballet companies

Tala is now embarking on a UK wide tour with Russian State Ballet and Opera House and will perform in a production of Swan Lake at Scarborough Spa’s Grand Hall on Tuesday 5 December.

Tala added: “I’m so excited to be given this fantastic opportunity to perform across the UK – the first time I’m performing so close to home as a professional dancer so it’s going to be extra special, particularly being able to perform in Yorkshire.

“ It will be the first time that many of my friends and family will have been able to see me dance as a professional.”

To succeed in the world of classical dance requires determination and hard work. Tala has continued with the intense training regime, instilled in her at the Bolshoi, and trains ten hours a day, six days a week with weekly performances scheduled throughout the season, plus the regular tours. S

he is also fluent in Russian, having spent five years with non-English speaking teachers and also sitting her academic exams in Russian.

Tala said: “Moving so far away from home was such a big step for me but this was my ultimate dream. For me, the Russian system of training gave me so much. I learnt to express myself and to dance from my soul – it truly has made me the dancer I am today.

Tickets for Tala’s performance in Swan Lake at Scarborough Spa on Tuesday 5 December are available from Scarborough Spa’s box office on 01723 821888 and via www.scarboroughspa.co.uk