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
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
i> 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