| Bruna Nessif 22. April 2015 – 19:56
If this doesn’t melt your heart at least a little bit, we don’t know what to tell you.
Meet Alice Barker. She’s a 102-year-old woman who spent her youth as a chorus line dancer during the Harlem Renaissance of the the 1930s and 40s. Alice showed off her killer moves by dancing at clubs such as The Apollo, Cotton Club and Zanzibar Club, with legends including Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.
Basically, Alice was—and still is, if we do say so ourselves—a pretty big deal, but she had never actually watched herself dance. Until now.
With the help of Mark Cantor of Jazz Film and David Shuff, researchers managed to dig up three “soundies” (what they called music videos back in the day) that Barker appeared in, and paid Alice a visit at her nursing home to show her the incredible footage for the very first time on an iPad.
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Alice’s smile and hands tapping to the beat of the music as she watched her stunning younger self move across the stage is enough to bring a smile to your face, but then she starts reminiscing on her dancing days, and it’s just amazing.
“It’s just fabulous, fabulous to see these and remember all these things,” Barker says in the video. “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.”
In an earlier part of the video, Baker playfully says, “Don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing,” recalling one of the names of the songs she performed to.
“It makes me wish I could get out of this bed and do it all over again.”
Stars who can dance