102-Year-Old Alice Barker, A Former Dancer, Sees Herself on Film For the Very First Time… And It’s Wonderful

102-Year-Old Alice Barker, A Former Dancer, Sees Herself on Film For the Very First Time… And It’s Wonderful
Good CausesMusic 4 Comments

“Alice Barker was a chorus line dancer during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1930s and 40s. She danced at clubs such as The Apollo, Cotton Club, and Zanzibar Club, with legends including Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson.”

Although Alice danced in many movies, commercials and TV shows (far too many for her to remember), she has never seen any of them. In fact, she has never seen herself on film in motion before… ever!

“I used to often say to myself, I am being paid to do something, that I enjoy doing and I would do it for free. Because it just felt so good doing it. Because that music you know… I get carried away in it.”

With the help of archivist Mark Cantor, a well-known authority on the subject of music on film and founder of the site Jazz on Film: Celluloid Improvisations, the video makers, who are friends of Alice’s, were able to find three “Soundies” Alice appeared in, and presented them to her for the very first time.

When asked by the team how it was to finally see her younger self dancing and performing on film, Alice replied, “Making me wish I could get out of this bed and do it all over again!”

The makers of the video added the following message on their YouTube channel:

If you’d like to send Alice fan mail we would love to see her get the adoration she deserves after so many years.

Alice Barker
c/o Bishop Henry B. Hucles Episcopal Nursing Home
835 Herkimer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11233

Excuse us while we run to the post office!

  • Kat Burdick

    WOW! I love it! And it’s kind of amazing how much it looks like Rihanna time traveled. <3

    • Kristin White

      I thought the same thing! She really does look like Rihanna…

  • Eileen

    FABULOUS!! Alice is quite the lady. I hope I have her facilities if I reach 102. Isn’t is wonderful that we have film to see those we love as young people? It must have been such a thrill for her and her family.

  • Gerri Ford

    So beautiful. I wish someone had asked her if she knew Lena Horne. Ms. Horne would have been about that age and she was a dancer and a singer. Ms. Horne performed in Harlem too.