The spirit of play is a gift of life.

The Dance of Tennis students and instructors 2010, USC

Jena Marcovicci had a dream and vision of awakening the bright loving spirit in children who face the harsh reality of survival. He started the Joy of Athletics Foundation in 1991 so that he could share his love of the game with children who bear burdens that limit their visions of what they are capable of, and who they can become. The freedom and joy of enthusiastic play nurtures the beauty of life. Many children awaken into a world that does not provide the safety that is needed to nurture this part of their spirits. Jena’s Dance of Tennis is a gift of life that has been given to thousands of inner city children across the country.


Jena’s dream lives on in the enthusiasm of the volunteers who continue to bring the Dance of Tennis to children yearning for fresh and unique learning experiences. It not only lives on, it thrives. LA’s BEST afterschool program has embraced Jena’s vision and is seeking to expand the program to more inner-city districts of Los Angeles. It is our vision that Jena’s movement lives on in the hearts of Los Angeles’ youth year after year, after year.