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Article: International Women's Day 2023

iwd 2023 four ballerinas wearing sustainable ballet leotards posing on a balcony in leeds

International Women's Day 2023

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2023, we chatted to some of the ballerinas in our Imperfect Pointes community who inspire us. All of them are customers, who we think are leaders in what they do, and stand out to us as pioneering or inspiring other dancers. 

Kimberley Hattersley-Barton - dancer and beater of 4 cancers

Blonde ballerina wearing a blue high neck zip leotard posing in front of the ocean

What inspires us about her:  

At the age of 25, this dancer has already overcome cancer 4 times. 

Imperfect Pointes first met Kimberley at The Ballet Retreat adults ballet weekend, & had no idea of the journey she’d already been on. She is an avid campaigner for head and neck cancer awareness and has documented her most recent cancer in a candid vlog. It turned out Helen, our founder & Kim are kindred spirits, both strong Yorkshire women with a wicked sense of humour, they even attended the same school & come from the same Yorkshire village in the North of England……who knew?

Kimberley’s journey really resonated with Helen, as Helen lost her mum to a rare Head and Neck cancer. She loves that Kimberley keeps on dancing and managing to say **** you to cancer whilst authentically sharing her ups and downs with wit and determination along the way via social media. 

What are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months?

In the next 12 months I am looking forward to thriving in everything I choose to do. Whether that’s dancing, reaching my personal goals or making memories with my friends… I’m just so excited at the thought of enjoying all of these opportunities that are to come. 

Why Imperfect Pointes? 

To me, why would you choose another brand? Imperfect Pointes captures everything that a brand's ethos should empower; inclusivity, sustainability and the constant development to know what the audience wants. Not to mention the high quality of the dancewear (that can be worn for more than just dance), the styles - which you can also customise, and an all round supportive community in this imperfect industry.

Blonde ballerina wearing blue high neck zip front leotard jumping on the beach

Favourite leotard?

I have an Imperfect Pointes collection! I’d say any of my ‘Tuscany’ style leotards are my favourite. I just love how it fits and supports my body, along with the alternate sporty design with the front zip. 

I love feeling confident in what I wear, and in this style I always feel strong - that’s something I always want to embody in my own style and within my personal characteristics… I love to wear something that reflects who I am as a woman and a dancer 

Kim chose these photos of herself to include for International Women’s Day, as they make her feel that her body looks really strong and powerful in them,  

Sophie Rebecca - Adult Ballerina and Proud Trans Activist

Sophie Rebecca an inspiring trans ballerina wearing a short sleeve blue and red leotard posing in a ballet studio

What inspires us about her:  

We love that Sophie came to ballet later in life and how it allows her the freedom to be herself and to invest in all that is feminine about her. 

Sophie campaigns on Trans rights & raising awareness to enable ballet to be more accessible for Trans women. She’s also been featured in a British Vogue and Nike sportswear campaign!

Sophie told us …..

I want to show that adult dancers can start late and develop and achieve as well as enjoy the art that is ballet, I strive to be visible in a world that is increasingly hostile to trans women like me, to show others who are the same as me that they can follow their dreams.

Why Imperfect Pointes?

The reason I choose Imperfect Pointes is for the sustainability, I've had leotards in the past that lose colour, stitches fray and the cost of fast fashion is well known, so the sustainablilty and the gorgeous leos are what drew me to Imperfect Pointes, and what sealed the deal is that they are fellow Yorkshire owners!

Favourite leotard?

My favorite leotard is my Alexandria in Jellyfish, it's such a beautiful rich magenta and the sleeves soften my shoulders beautifully.


Cira Robinson - Director of Yorkshire Ballet Seminars and former Senior Artist with Ballet Black

Cira Robinson, Director of Yorkshire Ballet Seminars and former senior artist with ballet black wearing a green sleeveless leotard laughing sat on a windowsill


What inspires us about her:

We've admired Cira Robinson since Imperfect Pointes became ‘friends of Ballet Black’ and watched her perform on stage many times since. 

We love Cira’s captivating onstage presence - memories of seeing her perform are still great moments for us…but did we mention her incredible energy off stage? She is a force!  

When we founded Imperfect Pointes, we took inspiration from Cira’s work in getting big brands to come to the table on skin toned pointe shoes and raising awareness of the lack of options for Black Women in ballet. It made us more determined to put representation and inclusion front and centre in our own brand. 

We love that Cira, who is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, has had a long ballet career with many accolades, including 10 years with Ballet Black, has now moved into leadership at YBS… and soon to be managing the demands of a Director role alongside becoming a new Mum.

What are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months?

I look forward to embracing the many life changing events that stand before me. One of them being completely comfortable and settled into my new role as Director of YBS, starting outreach programs and going out into different communities to find the next generation of dancers from all different backgrounds. I will also be welcoming a new baby in a few months, so that will be an exciting new journey that trumps everything!

Why Imperfect Pointes? 

Well, I appreciate what it’s doing for the dance community and ultimately for the environment. I think sometimes, we as humans get caught up in our everyday lives, obligations, stresses etc., and forget to nurture and give back to Mother Earth. We take and take, as humans naturally do, but fail to realise that resources have and will become scarce. Things won’t change in a day. It's important to begin to be mindful about purchases in the future and the sustainability of the item.

Which is your favourite leotard?

My favourite Imperfect Pointes item that I own at the moment would probably be my Carioca Leotard, not that I’ve been able to fit into it for sometime! 

I’ve recently been in discussion with the lovely founder Helen, about making a maternity leotard that will fit over my ever growing bump, which I’m really looking forward to. This sustainable dancewear company is doing so much for the community, and in the long run, the world, and I support it.

Constance Devernay-Laurence - Principal Dancer at Scottish Ballet and Director of Ballet Grand Prix

blonde ballerina wearing blue leotard and tights on stage

What inspires us about her:

For us, it’s that she is inspiring a whole generation of young ballet Dancers and now is a Director of Ballet Grand Prix Scotland in between receiving rave reviews for the Snow Queen and Coppélia with Scottish Ballet, as well as being a sustainability advocate in the dance world!

Alongside her performing career, Constance teaches all-level Yoga classes, Ballet classes, and workshops and coaches young dancers. She is a very passionate artist, always seeking to inspire her audience both on and off the stage. 

Constance is from Amiens in France and trained in Cannes, and then at the English National Ballet School in London, before joining Scottish Ballet in 2009.

What are you most looking forward to in the next 12 months?

  • I am looking forward to developing more events for Ballet Grand Prix and announcing our 2024 competition dates.
  • I am really excited to go on tour with Scottish Ballet to America in May-June, where I will be performing the role of Abigail, in The Crucible. 
  • As a member of Scottish Ballet’s environmental group, I am learning as much as I can to try and make the touring life of a ballet dancer more sustainable. 
  • I am also building a tailored performance coaching program for 2 vocational ballet dancers, more to be revealed soon! 
  • And, I am planning my honeymoon!!

blonde ballerina in green leotard in a dance studio

Why Imperfect Pointes? 

As a dancer I spend more time in dancewear than I do in normal clothes, and it is wonderful to finally see a dancewear brand which focuses on sustainability and is challenging the dance fashion industry.

Which is your favourite leotard?

Any Leo with an ombré! I love all the designs! I also can't manage without Imperfect Pointes convertible tights

1 comment

Super inspiring ballerinas! ❤️

Nicola Stockdale

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