The Dance of Tennis Project began in 1968 in South L.A through Pepperdine University by Jena Marcovicci. In 1971 it was taken over by Univ. Year for Action, a VISTA Program. In 1991 the L.A Project was rekindled by Jena, staffed by youths who had been in the original programs. In 1993 we became the Joy of Athletics Foundation a 501(c)(3) a non-profit tax exempt program committed to sponsoring the Dance of Tennis Project. Since then, the Dance of Tennis has been faithfully brought year after year to students in inner cities around the country.

Jena Marcovicci, Ph.D.

Jena Marcovicci died in October 2007. He was the founder of the Dance of Tennis workshops and the Joy of Athletics Foundation – using music and drums to transform a tennis opponent into a dance partner and the game into a celebration of life. He developed this workshop based on his extensive background in professional tennis, athletics, yoga, tai chi, the Alexander Technique, Gestalt psychology, psychosynthesis, and neurolinguistic programming.

Marcovicci was a touring professional on the international circuit from 1972 to 1976, competing against such players as Bjorn Borg and Guillermo Vilas. His workshops at Esalen Institute (in Big Sur, California), Kripalu Yoga Center (in Lenox, Massachusetts), Omega Institute (in Rhinebeck, New York), and his Dance of Tennis Center (in the Berkshire hills of Richmond, Massachusetts), have been for the past decade acclaimed as innovative workshops for exploring athletic potential, innate fears in sports, and how to have fun playing tennis.