Jesse White And The Thrill Of Tumbling

Posted By: Marty

Jesse White And The Thrill Of Tumbling - 03/21/13 01:18 PM

Earlier on in this segment, you saw us interviewing the mayors of Dangriga and Belize City. That's because we ran into them at the airport, where they were greeting Jesse White, the Secretary of State for the State of Illinois in the US - but first the past 53 years, he's also been in charge of a tumbling troupe.

And that is principally why White is here - touring with ten members of his 305 person troupe.

They will be the featured attraction at this weekend's bandfest in Belmopan and we found out more about the thrill of tumbling:

Emmanuel McGhee - Tumbler
"We have a huge crowd; everyone loves our show, everyone roaring, clapping, shouting and screaming because of how high we jump. We elevate to about 20 feet sometimes; the audience loves it. It's a thrill for them, the stuff that we do; we get higher than anything that you have ever seen."

Jesse White - Secretary of State, Illinois
"It's a known fact that when our young people are actively involved in something positive, it's a win-win situation for us. I've had about 13,500 young people to come through my program, within the 53 year period it lasted count, and only 115 had gotten themselves in trouble with the law. It's been after a comeback from Juvenal delinquency."

Emmanuel McGhee
"The team is created to take the tumblers outside the environment of the negative things that happen in Chicago and give them a positive outlet, to give them an option to perform, give them an option to a safe haven and sorts."

Jules Vasquez
"Have you seen the tumbling group save lives?"

Emmanuel McGhee
"I've seen the tumbling team save many lives. We've saved many tumblers off the streets; we've save many people off the street from broken homes, bad environments, from shootings and everything of that nature."

Member of Tumbling Group
"Being with this team is like a family. We stick together with one another; we train each other to do better stunts that we do, and we're just happy to be down here as a family."

Emmanuel McGhee
"When you're a part of something like this, it gives you a sense of entitlement. It gives you a sense of - you want to do something else in the world like this, and once you're a part of something like this, you want to bring it to other people. You want to be a positive role model for others, you want to bring the sense of gratifying - the sense that you've got and it's really life changing."

The Jesse White Tumblers are regulars at NBA HALFTIME shows and have toured Croatia, Japan, and China.

But Secretary of State White is also here to help out Belize Cities and Towns. He's already given two ambulances to Dangriga and told us what else he's planning to arrange donations for:

Jesse White
"They said that they needed 2 dialysis machines, and since I run the second largest organ and tissue program in the nation, and a lot of people, especially African - Americans, the diet is not where it should be. They don't exercise like they should, and eat the wrong foods. Sometimes they become diabetic, so they have to have their system cleansed. So, you have to have a machine to do that, and so, we're in the process of sending 2 dialysis machines down here. And then, they told me that they were having trouble collecting the garbage, so I talked with some of my friends in Chicago who own trucks, and they told me that they were would be glad to give 2-4 truck. So, within the next month, you could see some action in the area of those dialysis machines, and those dump trucks."

White first became familiar with Belize through Belizean staffers in his office and Belizean food.

Tomorrow, White will be hosted at a meeting of the Mayors' Association in Orange Walk...

Channel 7

Posted By: Marty

Re: Jesse White And The Thrill Of Tumbling - 03/22/13 01:48 PM

Jesse White Tumblers Throw It Down

And a group of Belize City high schoolers got to witness real athletic excellence today when they got a preview for a show of the Jesse White Tumblers. Monica Bodden was there to see them stunting:

Monica Bodden Reporting

Students, teachers and other onlookers were blown away this afternoon by a spectacular performance put off by 10 tumblers of the Jesse White Tumbling Team. The group of young men entertained the crowd with some mind blowing stunts in the air - and had everyone holding their breaths. In the end, they received nothing but some good ole Belizean love.

Darrell Bradley - Mayor, Belize City Council
"Well this is part of the visit of the Secretary of the State, Jesse White from the state of Illinois. Of course he has stared the Jesse White foundation, and this is a foundation that has been in existence for over 50 years. He's worked with over 15,000 tumblers, who have pass through his program. And so he brought a small contingent of them, 10 of them, and what he requested of us, is that we just organize activities that engage young people so that they can see a demonstration of the tumblers."

The internationally known Jesse White Tumbling Team has been thrilling audiences since 1959 with their gravity-defying performances.

Darrell Bradley
"He is going to be traveling to Dangriga tomorrow, and they're going to have shows there. He's of course been invited officially by Love FM, the band fest and he's going to be performing on Saturday. But we've had to have an opportunity for Belizean students in Belize City, just to benefit from his skills. They want to do as much show as possible, and they're trying to fit in as much people as possible, so that people can get a glimpse of the talented young people that has come from the State of Illinois. One of the things that were very good also, is that he requested that we link up with the local tumblers. Of course, the local tumblers gave an intro program, and he was very impress with their talent. He has left some of the equipment that he had brought with him, for the benefit of the local tumblers. So he is all about sharing the experience and knowledge and talents, for the Belizean public."

And while in existence for over 50 years, White's foundation has worked with over 15 thousand tumblers.

Emmanuel McGhee - Tumbler
"This afternoon's performance was a great turn out. This is our first performance being down here in Belize, and we just want to give them an example of what we do back in Chicago."

"We notice that you all were sharing some time with the Belizean tumblers. Tell us about the time you shared together, and what you shared and dialogued about."

Emmanuel McGhee
"What we shared in dialogue was that we like the fact that they don't really use - like showcase perform form. We use form with our and they're just a little bit more power, which we could tell, because they don't even use mats and equipment. So, we had to give them their standing ovation for them to be doing that."

Monica Bodden
"Will you guys be sharing some of your techniques with these tumblers?"

Emmanuel McGhee
"Oh absolutely, we definitely will share them and show them what we can do where we use our mats and tramplet. So, we definitely want them to emulate us."

Monica Bodden
"Is this your first time in Belize?"

Emmanuel McGhee
"This is our first time in Belize, and I'm very excited to be here."

Benjamin Robinson - Professional Tumbler
"Usually we take the time, beforehand, to do physical activities, to get ourselves warmed up. We were playing basketball earlier and we stretched also. But most of the time, you know, like sometimes we just have to go on like in an instant and have no time to stretch or do anything, so sometimes - that's why we go through training, so we're ready you know, for at a moment's notice. I first heard it from my friend. He was a tumbler, he went to grade school with me and he told me about the team, and I came and I tried out. When I was in 6th grade, and ever since then I've just been on the team. I went and I came back, but it's been just a consistent tumbling - I've been tumbling consistently, I just love to do it so, I had to come back."

The tumblers big performance is on Saturday at the LOVE FM Bandfest.

This morning Secretary of State White attended a meeting with the Mayor's association.

Channel 7

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