See 102-Year-Old Alice Barker's Sweet Reaction to Films of Her Dancing In '30s and '40s
Alice Barker was a chorus line dancer during the Harlem Renaissance.
— -- A video of a 102-year-old woman named Alice Barker, seeing films for the first time of her younger self dancing back in the '30s and '40s, is going viral on YouTube.
Barker was a chorus line dancer during the Harlem Renaissance, the video says, adding that she performed for night clubs and 'Soundies,' which were short musical films similar to today's music videos.
In the video, Barker can be seen smiling, tapping along to the beat and making comments watching old films of herself on an iPad.
"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.
Asked how many years she danced, Barker laughs and replies, "That's all I ever did! That was it!"
She later adds the videos make her wish she could "get out of this bed and do it all over again."
Near the end of the video, Barker recalls a fond childhood memory that highlights her love for dance.
"My mother told me she was getting ready to bathe me, and on the corner was a band playing," she says. "She had forgotten something, and she went back in the house to get it. And when she came [back], I was gone, and I was down there naked, just going, dancing. And I can see me down there [now], naked, just dancing. And then if the band would stop playing, I'd look at them and say, 'Come on, let's get it going!'"
The video was filmed last fall by David Shuff, who used to bring his therapy dog to the center before he moved to California, he told ABC News today.
"I became good friends with Ms. Barker," Shuff said, adding he's known her for almost seven to eight years. "Gail Campbell, a recreation worker there, and I thought it would be fun to find her films even though we thought it was impossible."
After some deep digging, Shuff said he got in contact with jazz film collector Mark Cantor, who owned films of Barker in his archive called "Celluloid Improvisations."
Shuff then showed the films to Barker, and got permission to upload her reaction on YouTube, he added.
Barker is now almost 103 years old, still alert and oriented and "very excited and happy" the video of her reaction is going viral, center administrator Robert DeVito told ABC News today.