102-Year-Old Harlem Woman Sees Herself Dancing on Film for the First Time

With the help of Mark Cantor from Jazz on Film, volunteers at Brooklyn’s Bishop Henry B. Hucles Episcopal Nursing Home were able to track down video of 102-year-old resident Alice Barker dancing as a young adult over a few gigs during the Harlem Renaissance.

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 she danced in numerous movies, commercials and TV shows, she had never seen any of them, and all of her photographs and memorabilia have been lost over the years. With the help of Mark Cantor of http://jazz-on-film.com we finally our hands on three “Soundies” Alice appeared in, and were able to show them to her for the very first time. She had never seen herself in motion in her life!

Barker had never seen herself dance on film prior to this private screening at her home.

Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's food scene with his Wife and the outdoors with their three dogs. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time working from a treadmill desk at home.

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