DCC Pinky Party at Diamonds Direct: Rookies Fitted for their Pinky Rings!
Last Thursday night was a milestone for the 16 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders that just completed their rookie season. Diamonds Direct, the official jeweler of the Dallas Cowboys, hosted the entire DCC squad for the ‘DCC Pinky Party’, an annual event that is a highlight in a DCC member’s career.
“Tonight’s event is special because we’re at Diamonds Direct measuring 16 rookies for their rookie rings,” explains DCC director Kelli Finglass. “The pinky ring is a tradition we first introduced in 1978. It’s a small, simple, gold band with the inscription ‘DCC’ and it has the dove of peace inside. It was designed by our former director, Suzanne Mitchell. It’s a ring that bonds cheerleaders of past-and-present.
“What’s also special this past year is that we were able to give rookie rings to former DCC who were on the squad prior to 1978. Most of them received their rings at The Spirit of DCC Alumni Gala this past October. But tonight we also have three former DCC who were rookies in 1973, so they’re getting their rings 44 years later.”
“Tonight was incredibly special because I’ve been looking forward to getting this ring ever since I made it on the squad,” says current DCC rookie Milan. “I didn’t know much about the tradition at first until I saw these really special rings the veterans had on with the DCC logo engraved. I was immediately asking, ‘When do I get mine?’ They said, ‘You have wait all year to get it, but it’s worth it’. Now I understand why it’s worth it.”
Amit Berger, owner and senior vice president of Diamonds Direct, hosted the special event. He and his staff took special joy in seeing the pride and delight of the rookies as they were professionally fitted for the rings they will receive at the DCC’s banquet in the spring.
“I continue to be impressed with the Cowboys Cheerleaders as I’ve learned more about how hard it is to become a part of this team,” notes Berger. “Hard work and commitment mean a lot to us, too, so doing the jewelry for them is important. We are committed to doing it the best way possible. It’s the same way the cheerleaders approach their craft.
“Coming to Dallas, one of the most exciting things to us was to partner as official jewelers of the Cowboys. We really appreciate the relationship and we take pride in this partnership. We’ll continue to work hard to make it special.”
“Here inside Diamonds Direct, they obviously have wonderful, elegant, ornate pieces of jewelry,” Kelli adds. “But they also understand that our ring is a traditional piece of jewelry, and they embrace being a caretaker of that tradition. We really appreciate that approach and their expertise.”
Erica is a DCC veteran who just completed her third season with America’s Sweethearts. As one of the squad’s leaders, she continually reminded the rookies that their diligence during a demanding season would pay off when they feel a sense of accomplishment on the night they earn their ring.
“I feel like the waiting makes it even more special because it gives you perspective on the whole year,” says Erica.
“You’ve dedicated your life the past year to this endeavor and now you receive a reward that symbolizes that you’re part of a wonderful organization and sisterhood. It’s a buildup of everything that gets better and better. And it gives you something to look forward to after the football season ends. It ends on a high note.”
DCC choreographer Judy Trammell earned her rookie ring in 1980. In those days, the rookies didn’t have to wait so long to show off their bling.
“It’s different nowadays because, back then, we got ours after our first game,” Judy recalls. “So I think nowadays it means more because the rookies have to really earn it. Yes, we had to earn ours, too, but we just got them a lot earlier. Now it’s more fun to see them get their rings because they’ve worked really hard all year and it’s paid off.
“This is the one tangible item you take away from your DCC experience. You don’t keep your uniform or boots. You have this unique ring. It’s really cool because if you go anywhere and see someone wearing that gold ring, you know right away. It just happened the other day to Milan when she was registering for her next semester of classes. She ran into Ashley, a former DCC, who is on staff at SMU.
“That’s right, I had to meet with a college counselor at SMU and I walked in and saw that she had the pinky ring on,” Milan confirms. “It was easy to spot the ring right away. I immediately asked her if she was a DCC. She was so excited to know I was DCC, too. She helped me with my class schedule and we talked about the importance of the DCC tradition.”
For Kelli and Judy, Milan’s encounter with a ‘sister’ DCC is the perfect example of what the ring represents.
“The ring is a symbol of sisterhood, it’s a symbol of accomplishment,” says Kelli. “It’s also a reminder of the responsibility that we all have as ambassadors of our team and community.”