Celebrating the life of Lou Goldstein, Borscht Belt Master of Simon Says,

Last week at several Dancing Heart sites we celebrated the life of Lou Goldstein who passed away on April 2nd at the age of 90 years old.

Lou Goldstein was the consummate tummler, one of a zany species of entertainer who kept them laughing, or tried to, long ago in the borscht belt hotels of the Catskills. A tummler–the job title comes from a Yiddish word for someone who stirs up tumult or excitement–was a jack -of-all trades social director who was supposed to amuse the hotel guests with jokes, songs and shtick that might be described as slapshtick, as they sat by the pool emerged from lunch or headed for bingo….But Mr. Goldstein was more than a tummler. He was also probably the most famous impresario of Simon Says, a commanding figure (in a manner of speaking) in a game beloved by children as well as adults when they’re in a playful mood; his act appeared on national television and in sports arenas ( at halftime).

NY TIMES-Joseph Berger-April 15th

At Struthers Parkinson’s, one of our Dancing Heart participants remembered Lou Goldstein while visiting a hotel in the Catskills. To celebrate Lou, we all tapped into our own inner tummler, shouting “Oy Vey”, playing improvisational games, telling jokes and then taking turns leading our own version of “Simon Says”.  At our Dancing Heart sessions we are utilizing the powerful tool of improvisation. A recent Ted Talk by Charles Limb explores this: Your Brain On Improv.

We invite everyone to honor Lou with a round of Simon Says!



The mission of Kairos Dance Theatre is to transform and revitalize individuals and communities. We work with older adults in intergenerational settings to liberate the healing power of interactive dance and story. We achieve our mission by engaging the skills of professional teaching artists.

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