The exercises appear deceptively simple, involving tossing or bouncing sand-filled bags or racquetballs.

However, this system known as "Bal-A-Vis-X," short for Balance Auditory Vision Exercises is designed to help people regain focus, work on hand-eye coordination, and deepen the connection between the brain and the body.

Bal-A-Vis-X creator Bill Hubert is known nationally and internationally, and will be coming to the Newton area for a training session Jan. 17-19, hosted by the Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts and Presbyterian Manor. The class is designed for those who'd like the learn Bal-A-Vis-X for their own benefit, or for those such as teachers, nurses or physical therapists who'd like to share it with those they serve.

"It can be applied in many areas," Danika Bielek, BCAPA executive director, said of the program. "It is a multi-purpose system."

Bal-A-Vis-X is a bit different than the dance and music classes BCAPA is known for offering, but the academy saw it as an opportunity to meet a different kind of need in the community.

"BCAPA has been branching out in areas of education that might need a place to be presented," Bielek said.

Bal-A-Vis-X has been used to help students with learning disabilities; the vision impaired; those with Autistic Spectrum disorders or Asperger's syndrome; ADD/ADHD; behavioral or speech disorders; and more. One example is a child who was falling behind in reading but now reads at a normal grade level after using Bal-A-Vis-X.

Presbyterian Manor has used the method in the past, and Melinda Ebersole, activity director, is excited about bringing the program back to the community. She said Bal-A-Vis-X can help the elderly remain independent longer, and improve their driving skills.

"It helps with the residents, their eye-hand coordination," she said.

Even those who are not dealing with a disorder can find benefits from the method.

"I could really see how my heart rate was going down," Ebersole said after trying Bal-A-Vis-X. "I felt a little more relaxed."

The class will take place at Bethel College Memorial Hall. Cost is $150 per person, or $135 for each participant if registering in a group of three or more. There is an optional, additional $8 fee for lunch during the Saturday session.

The course has been approved by the Kansas Board of Nursing for credits toward continuing nurse education. The class doesn't officially certify trainers in the system, but those who would like to be certified can follow up with Hubert to complete the process.

Registration deadline in Jan. 10, and enrollment already is half full. For more information, visit or, or call 283-4902.

To watch examples of Bal-A-Vis-X, visit