Welcome to Diamond Dolls Twirling, LLC!!
*Proudly starting our 23rd year!!
*First practice for Recreational Performance Teams (Little Gems, Silver Team, Gold Team): Thursday, March 4, 2021
*First practice for Competitive teams: Feb. 9, 2021
*2021 Special Covid Safety guidelines have been added to the end of this standard handbook. Please read carefully before completing registration form and signing Covid waiver for participation.
We appreciate your interest in our baton twirling team! The Diamond Dolls is a unique baton twirling experience. There are many activities that your child can participate in, in the area. What makes us special is our instructors and the fact that we take the better aspects of both classes and teams, and combine them to offer you the best twirling instruction and experience that we can. Our goal is to teach your child correct baton technique and style, the art of performance, and the experience of being a team member.
We are very excited about our elite organization. We are proudly beginning our 23rd year and as we always continue to grow and improve, it may be necessary to make corrections or additions to our handbook. Your cooperation in these matters will be greatly appreciated. Please read through the following handbook and feel free throughout the season to come to me with any questions, concerns, or ideas that you may have.
At the end of each month, a newsletter will be emailed* to you, containing important information for the following month. Please read these carefully, and call me with any questions. The newsletter will also be posted on the website monthly. *If you do not have internet access to receive your newsletter this way, please let us know and you will be given a paper copy.
Updates and photos of events will also be posted on our Members Only Diamond Dolls Twirling and our public Diamond Dolls Twirling LLC Facebook pages…please send us a request to add you to the members only and also follow our public page.
Once again, we welcome you to the Diamond Dolls. You are about to be a part of something very exciting!
Diamond Dolls Director/Owner
Home phone number: (724) 459-8628 (Please leave a message)
Address: 174 Lentz Lane
Blairsville, PA 15717
**A) Members should 3- 17 years old at the beginning of our season. Children must be fully potty-trained.
B) Any member with a serious medical condition will be required to provide the director with a signed release for participation from the child’s physician.
C) Members will be divided into classes based on age and ability as follows:
1. Little Gems: pre-school through kindergarten. (recreational team)
2. Silver Team: 1st through 4th grades, level 1. (recreational team)
3. Gold Team: level 2, mixed grades *May be combined with Platinum (recreational team)
4. Platinum Team: level 3, mixed grades. *May be combined with Gold (recreational team)
5. Tiny Tot Competitive Team: K-3rd grade, chosen by prior season evaluations.
6. Junior Competitive Team: Intermediate/Advanced level, mixed grades, chosen by prior season.
7. *ADD opt out of performances option
D) The Director decides Team placement based on several factors.
E) No member is allowed to belong to another BATON group or take BATON classes or private BATON lessons from non-Diamond Dolls instructors while in Diamond Dolls. (This rule does not apply to high school majorette squads, dance/gymnastics classes, or any other sports). Violation may result in dismissal from our team, without refund.
II. PRACTICES (Times/locations):
A) Feb/March-July: Practices will be held at the Blairsville Armory & Wellness Center: 119 N. Walnut Street, Blairsville, PA 15717
*In post Covid times- we hope to move our practices back to Grandview Elementary School in Derry
Little Gems (recreational team): 5:00 pm-5:30 pm Thursdays only
Silver Team (recreational team): 6:00 pm- 6:45 pm Thursdays only
Gold Team (recreational team): 6:45-7:30 pm Thursdays only
Platinum Team (recreational team): 6:45-7:30 pm Thursdays only
Tiny Tot competitive Team: 5:30 pm-6:00 pm TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS
Junior Competitive Team: 6:00-8:00 pm TUESDAYS & 7:30-8:30 pm THURSDAYS
*We offer a choice to “opt out” of parades & performances-if you take that choice-you do not participate in any of those and can also choose to only take classes through the end of May.
All Practices will be held from February (Competitive)/March (recreational) through the end of July, unless any cancellations are announced.
B) Twirlers are only permitted inside the building 5 minutes prior to the start of their class time (but are also welcome to wait until their actual start time to provide greater social distancing) and must be picked up immediately following their class ending. Parents are not permitted to attend practices at this time due to Covid restrictions, but MUST come inside to get their child(ren) at the end of practice-the building is on a very busy street, and kids will NOT be permitted to exit the building without a family member. While not involved in class, twirlers must be under the supervision of their parent/guardian (outside up until 5 minutes prior to start, and in the foyer area while waiting the 5 minutes to start). You cannot leave your child unattended at the building while their sibling is in class. You must pick them up when their class is done, or wait with them for your other child to finish.
*Just down the street is a great community park, as well as the Blairsville Community Center, which has a great gym for members (& membership is very reasonable-including “punch cards” as an alternative to full gym membership. Check it out!
C) In the event of a cancellation due to bad weather, an outgoing message will be placed on Kim’s answering machine (724-459-8628). If the weather is questionable, you should check Kim’s machine, after 4:00 pm, of the day in question. **Cancellations will also be reported on KDKA-TV and WPXI-TV’s WEBSITE, after 4:00 pm. A cancellation notice will also be emailed to you and placed on the home page of our website: www.DiamondDollsTwirling.com and our Facebook page.
We will NOT be calling you to tell you that practice is cancelled-please check as indicated above
*We will not automatically be following local school districts schedules, due to changes with virtual days replacing snow days.
D) Throughout the season, please notify us if you have a change in address, phone number, emergency or cell number, or email address. This will ensure that we can reach you if needed.
E) Any member who misses 2 or more practices or performances in a row without notifying the director (Kim) will be assumed to have quit, and will be removed from the roster.
F) Excessive absences will be cause for suspension from performances until the member is caught up with tricks/routines to the satisfaction of instructors. **competitive teams have additional guidelines
G) Attendance at practices is highly encouraged to get the most out of the program BUT in 2021, due to Covid, attendance WILL NOT be counted & tracked, as we do NOT want anyone coming to practice who shouldn’t attend due to personal or family/close contact illness.
H) A parent or designated ADULT MUST escort twirlers INTO AND OUT OF the buildings for practices.
I) Any fees that are due can be given to director Kim either at the start or end of class time, or we prefer that fees be sent via Venmo to @DiamondDollsTwirling . Then, please wait quietly in the waiting area for your class to begin. Talking must be quiet and kept to a minimum.
J) Classes will begin promptly. If you arrive late, please check in and begin to practice right away.
K) Proper attire must be worn at all practices. In these times-that includes masks. T-shirts or preferably tank tops, shorts or leggings, sneakers or twirling shoes, socks, and hair pulled back tightly. NO JEANS OR JEAN SHORTS! NO SANDALS! (It is a bad idea for marching practice and a risk for injury with certain tricks.) If the instructor deems your attire as a risk for injury, you may not be permitted to practice. Revealing clothing or clothing with offensive language/images is not permitted.
L) No gum is permitted at practices, parades, or performances!!
M) The Diamond Dolls and their Director/ Instructors are not responsible for injury to any child during/enroute to Diamond Dolls functions. Parents/guardians accept full responsibility for safety and actions of their children at practices and performances, including transportation.
N) At this time-until restrictions are lifted-spectators (including parents) are NOT permitted to attend practice sessions.
A) Parents/Guardians: We support a NON-SMOKING environment for our practices and performances. Therefore, there is absolutely no smoking at practices or performances within 50 feet of our twirlers or the entrance to our practice location.
B) Any member or parent not cooperating with the Director/ Instructors, showing inappropriate behavior, or deliberately creating conflict within the team will be dismissed immediately and NO REFUNDS will be made.
C) Any parent ridiculing or criticizing any child will be required to leave the gym and may not be allowed to observe practices again. We would hope that this type of behavior will not occur.
D) Profane/offensive language will not be tolerated at practices or performances.
E) Any child causing a disruption in a class or at a performance will be asked to leave & parent will be contacted to pick them up right away. If the parent can get them calmed down to return quietly, they may do so. If the child’s behavior continues to be a problem, they will be dismissed permanently, without refund.
F) Anyone with any problems throughout the season should call the Director and make arrangements to discuss the situation. The Director/Instructors are the only ones with whom problems should be discussed. Another parent cannot solve your problems!! Troublemakers will be removed from the team with NO REFUNDS made.
A) If your child quits the team before the season is completed: NO REFUNDS are given for money already paid. (Registration fee, monthly tuition, batons, costumes, shoes, and any other fees paid before quitting.)
B) There will be a $25 registration fee for every child.
C) Tuition will be $25 per month for the Little Gems (30-minute weekly class) and $40 per month for Silver, Gold, and Platinum Teams
(45-minute weekly class), and $75 per month for Competitive Teams (approx. 3 hours of class weekly).
This monthly charge will not change, regardless of how many practices are held that month. We feel that this is a very fair price based on the quality of instruction and the fees being charged by local dance studios/twirling groups.
Please keep in mind that we do not do Fundraising!
There will be a discount for multiple children in the same household-oldest child will be full price, additional children will be $20/month for Little Gems, $35/month for Silver, Gold, and Platinum, and $60/month for Competitive and Mini-Competitive.
D) Tuition for classes are due at the first practice of each month regardless of attendance, with exception of classes cancelled by the Director (due to bad weather, etc.) If the first practice of the month is cancelled due to weather, tuition will be due at the next practice.
E) It is your responsibility to receive a receipt for all money turned in.
F) A late fee of $15.00 will be charged for tuition not paid by the 15th of the month. This will be strictly enforced! If your child must miss the first 2 practices of the month (or you forget to pay), you may:
1) Pay the week before
2) Drop off fee at the first practice even if child is not attending. 3) Mail check for fee to: Kimberly Hoag
174 Lentz Lane Blairsville, PA 15717
* Check (fee) must be received before the 15th of the month to avoid paying the late fee!
*New in 2021 can Venmo to @DiamondDollsTwirling-let Kim know if you need an invoice sent to you
G) Anyone not paying tuition at the first practice of the month will be permitted to practice that week. After that, participation will be restricted until all fees are up-to-date.
H) A returned check fee of $25 will be charged for any check returned from the bank. If we get a returned check from you more than once, cash or money order will be required for payments after that.
VI. COSTUMES & EQUIPMENT
A) All twirlers must have regulation batons. (ABC Skinny mini for Little Gems and ABC Mini Major/Mini Pro for all other twirlers). Other types of batons are not acceptable. Batons must be paid for in advance before being ordered. The prices are $25 each. (This includes one pair of practice caps to protect the ends).
B) Competitive and mini-competitive twirlers will be required to own two batons. Platinum twirlers may also need two batons.
C) All twirlers must have tan, Instep twirling shoes (Approx. $35). Except Little Gems-they wear white leather tennis shoes (purchased on your own).
D) All twirlers must pay for hair accessory to match costume (Approx. cost=$8)-if it is not included.
E) All competitive members will need identical dance tights. We will place a group order sometime in March. (Cost is approx. $11 per pair). MUST have at least 2 pairs per child.
F) Each member will be responsible for the cost of their costume/parade/performance outfit. Approx. cost $50. Payment will be due at the first practice in April-NO exceptions. Cost for each group will be announced at a later date. The same outift will be used for all parades and performances. *IF you are choosing to opt out of parades/performances, you will not need to purchase. For 2021-parade & performance opportunities may be greatly scaled down-or even eliminated altogether-depending if state/local regulations allow for parades & community festivals to happen. We are hopeful that we will be able to have some, and plan to hold a Friends & Family show regardless.
G) Competitive & Mini Competitive members may have 2-3 costumes. Prices will be discussed with parents prior to ordering. They will also need to purchase a practice outfit for competitions-approx. $30 and a warm-up jacket (with or without pants): approx cost $65. For 2021-this has been greatly scaled down-please see Competitive guidelines if you are on one of these teams.
H) Spirit Wear!! Diamond Dolls jackets, t-shirts, sweatshirts and car decals will be available to order. These items are entirely optional.
I) Competitive and min-competitive twirlers will plan to compete in 5-9 indoor competitions, and will be responsible for their entry fees ($6 per member for TU contests. Entry fees for States, Regionals, and Internationals will be higher and all are set by the sponsoring organization). For 2021-this has been greatly scaled down-please see Competitive guidelines if you are on one of these teams.
J) Any equipment used for performances/practices (other than batons paid for by members) are the property of Diamond Dolls and must be returned to Diamond Dolls at the end of the season. Failure to do so will result in the delay of receiving your participation trophy until equipment is returned or replaced. If the equipment is lost or damaged, it is your responsibility to replace it before you can receive your trophy. If you quit before the end of the season, the equipment must also be returned. Failure to do so may result in legal action being taken to retrieve the items.
A) All costumes/outfits, equipment, and footwear must be clean and IN GOOD CONDITION. Please be very careful to follow directions for cleaning costumes. If they are dirty or damaged, your child will not be permitted to perform with the group until costume/outfit is sufficiently cleaned or replaced.
B) No jewelry, except small earrings.
C) Diamond Dolls, its Director, Instructors, and affiliates, are not responsible for injury to any child during team functions.
D) We will plan on doing 4-5 local parades. We will also plan on doing 5-6 local performances, such as church festivals, community fairs, etc. These will be May-September. For 2021-this may be greatly scaled down-or even eliminated altogether-depending if state/local regulations allow for parades & community festivals to happen. We are hopeful that we will be able to have some, and plan to hold a Friends & Family show regardless.
E) A positive attitude/appearance is to be shown by each member whenever in costume/parade-performance outfit or attending any competition/Diamond Dolls function. Inappropriate language and/or attitude will not be tolerated. You are representing Diamond Dolls; please do so proudly and with respect. Clothing needs to be appropriate as well. Revealing clothing/offensive images or language on clothing will not be allowed at competitions, practices, or any time that you are representing Diamond Dolls. Any piercing (other than single or double earlobe) must be removed when in uniform or wearing Diamond Dolls clothing at competitions or Diamond Dolls functions. Likewise, any visible tattoos must be covered.
F) All members must know their routines to the Director/Instructor’s satisfaction in order to perform. Any member that does not do so will be required to “sit out”
G) Diamond Dolls routines are the property of the Director, and are not permitted to be performed in public without her permission.
H) At the conclusion of each parade/performance, you must sign your child out with the instructor or Marching Mom assigned to your child’s team.
A) Kimberly Hoag (Director/Lead Instructor) Kimberly has over 40 years of twirling and teaching experience. She has eight years experience as a former high school majorette instructor. She has won awards in solo competitions including: Intermediate pageant winner at Miss Majorette of PA, Intermediate winner at PA State Championships, and 5th in Intermediate World open solo at Notre Dame University. Kimberly is married and has 2 children. Kimberly also teaches private lessons. She sometimes works as an RN on a per diem basis.
B) Angela Glitsky. Angela was the 2000 co-captain of the D.A.H.S. majorettes and a former student of Kimberly Hoag. She has over 24 years of twirling and teaching experience. She has won awards including: 2000 Beginner State Solo winner, 2000 runner-up to Beginner pageant winner at Miss Majorette of PA, and 2001 State:1st place in Intermediate Open solo. Angela has 2 children and is also self-employed as a licensed massage therapist.
C) Jessica Stofko. Jessica was a former Derry High School majorette and student of Kimberly Hoag. She has over 30 years of twirling and teaching experience. Her 2 daughters (Alyssa and Emily) are members of our competitive team and solo competitive twirlers. Jessica has 3 children and is employed as a credit union teller.
*VERY IMPORTANT: Please see next page for special Covid safety letter
January 31, 2021
After careful thought and planning, we are excited to let you know that we plan to resume Diamond Dolls practices while following CDC considerations to protect twirlers, families, and our community.
The health and safety of our twirling athletes, staff, and volunteers remain our highest priority. Below, you will find a summary of actions we are taking to help ensure we are lowering COVID-19 risk as much as possible while also allowing our athletes to twirl. We are:
· Requiring that parents/guardians agree to assess their own child’s health condition, including checking their temperature, prior to attending all practices. If your child has a temperature above 100 and/or ANY other symptoms of ANY illness, they are not permitted to attend practices and you are encouraged to contact your health care provider for guidance. Coaches will be following the same protocols for themselves. STAY HOME IF YOU ARE SICK OR HAVE BEEN AROUND SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN SICK!
· Recognizing that some populations are at increased risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 (diabetics, asthmatics, immunocompromised, elderly, and more), while respecting privacy and autonomy, we advise parents of children who are at increased risk, to independently research and assess individual risk, in coordination with their child’s doctor, when determining if they should rejoin practices at this time or not. Parents and their doctors should assess their child’s level of risk, especially if they are at higher risk for severe illness, such as children who may have asthma, diabetes, or other health problems.
· We may hold practices outdoors when practical and will be cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces between classes. Efforts will be made to increase ventilation as much as possible indoors.
· Reducing physical closeness or contact between twirlers when possible by allowing twirlers to focus on building individual skills (no exchanging of batons or close duet work at this time-this might change as CDC guidelines evolve), keeping children in their small groups, assigning spots for twirlers during class to encourage that coaches and players stay 6 feet apart (when possible)-sometimes a coach inevitably has to come closer to a twirler to help guide the movement of their baton, fix arm, hand, and foot positions, etc to prevent injury), and also temporarily discouraging unnecessary physical contact, such as high-fives, handshakes, fist bumps, and hugs. For indoor practices we are requesting that twirler’s do not enter the building more than 5 minutes prior to their practice time and leave as soon as their practice finishes. Also, stay separated from the other team while entering and exiting please.
· Promoting healthy hygiene practices such as providing hand sanitizer before and after practices and encouraging twirlers to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or to use the inside of their elbow, and washing hands after. Twirlers will be requested to use hand sanitizer before and after practices. Coaches will be doing the same. You are welcome to use ours or to provide your own.
· Requesting that parents and spectators remain in an area outside of the actual practice area where class is being held. You are welcome (& encouraged) to watch from a distance during outdoor practices. You are encouraged to practice social distancing with other parents and spectators. At this time, during indoor practices, parents and spectators will not be allowed inside to observe, except for the last 5 minutes of Tiny Tots and the last 10 minutes of Junior Competitive practices. We hope to welcome you all back fully in the future.
· We are requesting that everyone wears a face covering while entering & exiting the building. While twirling, the girls will also be wearing masks. If a twirler’s mask gets wet, it should be changed for a clean and dry one as a wet mask be difficult to breathe through. It is important that players bring extra masks in case theirs needs to be changed out. During water breaks, masks can be removed, but everyone needs to stay socially distanced.
· Temporarily suspending any exchange tosses or other partner work that would involve close proximity of twirlers and/or sharing of batons. While we recognize those skills as important parts of teamwork, we feel that is something that can be suspended until further updates from the CDC.
· Stating that all twirlers MUST bring their own water bottles. Twirlers’ personal items (baton cases, batons, and water bottles) should be kept separate from other twirler’s items and need to be clearly labelled with the owner’s name.
· Encouraging parent and twirler adherence to these guidelines, by requiring that an additional waiver related to this be signed prior to restarting practices. All twirlers MUST have this waiver in hand at the first practice, signed by parents or legal guardians.
· Twirlers need to use the restroom before arriving at practice, to decrease the need for class time to be spent by coaches taking twirlers to the restroom and disinfecting afterwards.
Anyone who is sick, has tested positive for Covid, or has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 or is sick with Covid-like symptoms— including players, family members, coaches, staff and spectators — is not permitted to attend practices. Be on the lookout for symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough, sore throat, chest pressure, or shortness of breath. Call your doctor if you think you or a family member is sick. *Please notify the director (Kim Hoag) if your twirler, or anyone in your immediate family, is diagnosed with COVID-19. We will then notify our other twirler families, while protecting your privacy by not releasing your name.
If someone does get sick during practice, we have a plan in place to isolate that person until their parent/guardian can transport them to their home or healthcare facility.
If you need to miss practice due to quarantining for possible exposure somewhere, but your child feels good enough to participate, please let Kim know. We can video the class or Facetime as best as possible for your twirler to join in.
Absences due to illness or for compliance with these guidelines will NOT be counted against your child’s attendance record.
If you have a specific question about this plan, please contact Kim Hoag (724) 396-2545 for more information. You can find more information about COVID-19 at www.cdc.gov.
*If, after reading these guidelines-or for any other personal reason, you do not feel comfortable joining us for practices, we completely understand and respect your decision.
We look forward to seeing you. Now, let’s twirl!
Thank you and stay healthy,