Marie Astrid Mencé -
'How I discovered Imperfect Pointes'

Marie Astrid Mencé

Senior Artist of Ballet Black

Marie-Astrid was born in Paris, France. She joined Ballet Black in September 2014 and performed the lead role of Anna in the children’s ballet, Dogs Don’t Do Ballet (Christopher Marney, 2014), the re-staging of Will Tuckett’s 2009 ballet, and Second Coming, created by Mark Bruce. Marie has been a Dancer of the Month in the Dancing Times. She was also a principal in Michael Corder’s 2017 ballet, House of Dreams. Marie was promoted to Senior Artist at Ballet Black at the start of the 2020/21 season.

As a young ballerina I was very grateful to my mom and grandmother for buying what I needed to perform, even though things such as ballet leotards, tights and equipment were expensive and we didn’t have enough money.

Back then, leotards were made by the big ‘must-have’ brands like Repetto and Attitude and  manufactured in China, India and sometimes Indonesia - never local to where I grew up in France. As ballet dancers, we were never conscious about the importance of where our products came from. My mom and other ballet moms would only view these brands as the best on the market without questioning them.

As a young ballerina I was very grateful to my mom and grandmother for buying what I needed to perform, even though things such as ballet leotards, tights and equipment were expensive and we didn’t have enough money.

Back then, my dance wardrobe consisted of two leotards a year and one of those was saved for competitions. My mom had a lot of washing to do, as I was dancing 5 times a week. Leotards at that time were made by the big ‘must-have’ brands like Repetto and Attitude and were usually manufactured in China, India and sometimes Indonesia - never local to where I grew up in France. As ballet dancers, we were never conscious about the importance of where our products came from. My mom and other ballet moms would only see these brands as the best on the market.

As a special treat, I bought my first leotard at the age of 19 when I was in New York at Alvin Ailey School. This time I could choose what I wanted to wear. I was very picky about which leotard I wanted and what brand I would choose and I found the perfect one for me. From then on, I decided that every ballet item I would buy would need to match my criterias : quality, design, fabric resilience and elasticity, great absorption to sweat and need to follow the curve of my lower back just like a second skin!

I became vegetarian in 2015. That’s when I became more conscious of the world we live in and the effect of our habits. Step by step, I changed my shopping habits, committing to buying clothes and shoes from vintage shops and cruelty-free or organic groceries and cosmetics.

I’m always looking to improve the way I shop, especially for my ballet products. When I discovered Imperfect Pointes I was thrilled to find a sustainable balletwear brand that’s a local, small business led by women with a real conscience behind it. Their leotards and unitards are made of ECONYL® fabric. It looks the same as ordinary nylon, but this incredible fabric is made out of plastics recovered from our oceans and from landfill. It is then turned into recycled nylon. The best bit is that they are also so colourful and the models who feature on the website and social are real dancers, who are diverse in size, gender and skin colour. For me, that is how I see the future of ballet: inclusive, ethical, eco-friendly, diverse and gender free.

Excited, I messaged Helen, owner of Imperfect Pointes on Instagram to congratulate her on her sustainable ballet brand and ordered myself an Imperfect Pointes leotard. When I wore my leotard I had so many compliments from people in my company by the style and colour and have never been prouder to have balletwear in my wardrobe which is kinder to the earth!

Imperfect Pointes - Women's Tuscany Zip Front Leotard
Imperfect Pointes - Women's Tuscany Zip Front Leotard
Women's Tuscany Zip Front Leotard - Cupcake Pink-Women's Leotard-Imperfect Pointes
Imperfect Pointes - Women's Tuscany Zip Front Leotard
Imperfect Pointes - Women's Tuscany Zip Front Leotard
Women's Tuscany Zip Front Leotard - Cupcake Pink

Women's Tuscany Zip Front Leotard - Cupcake Pink

£75.00

This Women’s Tuscany half zip leotard is packed with sporty features to give you confidence in rehearsals and classes. Our top of the range Tuscany leotard is a stylishly sleeveless, with a cut out lower back detail and full mesh back panelling to show off the shoulder blades. This one’s got the prima-ballerina seal of approval. Beautifully cut leg line. Designed in Manchester Made in Yorkshire UK.

As seen on: Marie Astrid Mence, Senior Artist of Ballet Black

Made using ECONYL® yarn, from regenerated nylon waste such as fishing nets.

Dancer is wearing a M

Women's Marseille Leotard - Minty-Women's Leotard-Imperfect Pointes
Women's Marseille Leotard - Minty-Women's Leotard-Imperfect Pointes
Imperfect Pointes - Women's Marseille Leotard - Minty
Imperfect Pointes - Women's Marseille Leotard - Minty
Imperfect Pointes - Women's Marseille Leotard - Minty
Women's Marseille Leotard - Minty

Women's Marseille Leotard - Minty

£46.00

This Women’s Wrap Front Marseille leotard has a flattering cross-over front and beautiful low back, with contrasting piping on the straps and bust. Elegant on all body shapes and sizes. Beautifully cut leg line. Designed in Manchester Made in Yorkshire UK.

Made using ECONYL® yarn, from regenerated nylon waste such as fishing nets.

Customer sizing tip:

Some customers have given feedback that the Marseille fits small compared to their other Imperfect Pointes leotards. If you are in doubt - it may be better to size up on this style.

Dancer is wearing a XS

Mayara is wearing an S

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