Usta News

Black History Month Spotlight: Amelia DiPaola( Tue, Feb 9 00:02:AM)

Amelia DiPaola is the 2019 3-Baton Grand National Champion and hails from Fremont, California.

Twirling background

I began twirling when I was five years old in Fremont, California with K and K. There was an ad in a local newspaper about baton lessons and my mom signed me up!

Twirling successes

My favorite twirling experience was winning the Grand National 3-Baton Championship. I had always dreamed of being a competitor for the title. Previous years I made the finals but I never thought I would be standing on the first place podium in that event.

One of my other favorite experiences was the International Cup 2013 when I was competing in five events and finished the competition with five medals. It was a crazy competition as I had three different coaches for all of
my events. My individual coach for Solo, 2- and 3-Baton is Paige Campbell, my pairs  coach was Corey Kinyon-Cruz and I did team with coach Kelly Perlman. It was very busy but very successful!

Twirling impact

Baton taught me independence. I had to learn how to train on my own, travel on my own, and to be responsible for myself. Baton also taught me teamwork and how to be reliable for my teammates and friends. It also gave me a multitude of chances to travel! I have been across the U.S. and even to France and the Netherlands.

Barriers for Black twirlers

One of the biggest problems I have seen in the baton world with costuming. Costumes are not made with mesh that matches our skin tone, tights are not made that match our skin tone, and shoes aren’t made to match our skin tone. The very few places that make these products are not easily accessible either. I would hope to encourage companies to be more inclusive with shades in the darker range, because they already have a wide range in lighter shades.