Groovy! Ateret Avot keeps seniors dancing like stars!

Dancing senior Lillian Bernstein (left) keeps recreation worker Badana Gertz on her toes.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Mazel toes!

Rockin’ elders boogie-woogied like teenagers — showing staffers half their age how it’s really done — during a “Dancing With The Stars” tourney at Ateret Avot Senior Residence in Midwood.

The sporting seniors, most of whom are in their 80s and 90s, gave new meaning to the term “golden oldies” by gussying up in their glad rags, and jiggin’ and toe-tappin’ to tunes by, among others, Chubby Checker, Mitch Miller, Abba, and religious music maven Mordechai Ben David.
Some couldn’t wait to get their groove on.

“It gives a delicious flavor to everyday life!” kvelled Regina Neuman, 88, a Holocaust survivor who stood up in her wheelchair and swayed her arms to “Doin’ the Twist” — a merry moment launched by Director of Programming Alan Magill who gyrated his own hips impressively to the Checker classic.

Magill was kept on his toes by his irrepressible charges who didn’t need any prodding to put their best foot forward — or toot their own horns — for prizes and bragging rights.

Morris Newman, 87, provided the pizzazz by performing a crowd-pleasing medley on his sax as his peers bumped and grinded away.

“They are very active here!” said Magill, who was soon joined on the dance floor by nonagenarians Anna Kurtz and Beatrice Greenberg, and Sylvia Reiter who is in her 80s. Reiter even persuaded the few wallflowers to strut their stuff while Sylvia Skolnick, 86, saved her fancy footwork for the Yiddish wedding music.

“You just kick up your feet in the front and then you kick them up in the back,” she instructed the others.

The event is one of many Magill organizes regularly to fire up the spirits of his energetic clients, including a Jewish Oscars night, winter and summer olympics, plus weekly improv afternoons, and theatrical readings of his original plays.

“No one here has to feel that they’re not a winner,” he added.

Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at sabruzzo@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2529.

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