Jesse White Tumbling Team Thrilling Audiences Since 1959
History of the Tumblers

The internationally known Jesse White Tumbling Team has been thrilling audiences since 1959. Their acrobatic performances can frequently be seen during half-time shows for the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and Major League Baseball games. The team entertains at business and sporting events year-round, including colleges and universities nation-wide.

A number of the Jesse White Tumblers, beginning as young as 6 years old, are residents from throughout the Chicagoland area. Jesse White, founder and coach, created the team in 1959 to provide a recreational, athletic, educational and cultural enrichment experience for the team members. This is a juvenile delinquency prevention program that is designed to help youngsters grow tall and straight. The members are required to abide by Jesse White's strict rules, which include staying in school, maintaining a "C" average in academic coursework and staying away from gangs and drugs.

Since the team's inception, over 15,000 young men and women have benefited from the program. Jesse White's key to success is "tough love." He serves as coach, teacher, friend, mentor, confident and surrogate father to the members.

As heroes in the Chicago area, the Jesse White Tumbling Team have attracted national and international attention. Their fans can be found from Chicago area neighborhoods to the White House, Tokyo, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Croatia, Jamaica, Canada, Belize and Israel.

They have appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, The Tonight Show starring Jay Leno, Good Morning America, The Jenny Jones Show, Disney Channel's Mickey Mouse Club, CBS' How'd They Do That, and the Steve Harvey Show as well as several performances on Nippon Television in Tokyo. The team has also been featured in commercials for Coca-Cola, Jewel Food Store, the Chicago White Sox, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Walter E. Smith Furniture. In addition, they have appeared in the movies Heaven is a Playground, Ferris Buehler's Day Off and performed stunts in the movie The Meteor Man starring Robert Townsend. They have also been featured in the documentary, Son of America.

The Tumblers have performed during the 52nd and 53rd Presidential Inaugural Parades in addition to the 2010 President Barack Obama Inauguration Parade. Fifteen current and former members of the Team have toured with the Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Circus as the Chicago Kidz. The tumblers have also toured and performed with the Harlem Globetrotters. (One recent tumbling team college graduate was a member of the Harlem Globetrotters.)

The Jesse White Tumbling Team makes over 1500 appearances each year.

The Jesse White Tumbling Team Organization consists of four components:

  • The Tumbling Team
  • The Training Program
  • The Tutoring Program
  • The Scholars

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