A video of a 102-year-old woman named Alice Barker seeing her younger self dancing in the ’30s and ’40s is going viral on YouTube.
Barker was a chorus line dancer during the Harlem Renaissance, according to the video, adding that she performed for night clubs and ‘Soundies,’ which were short musical films similar to today’s music videos.
“She danced at clubs such as The Apollo, Cotton Club and Zanzibar Club, with legends including Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson,” the video’s description adds.
In the video, Barker is seen smiling and tapping along to the beat as she made comments while 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, Barker playfully says, “Don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing,” as she recalls one of the names of the songs she performed to.
When Barker was asked how many years she danced, she replied: “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 reflects on 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 facility before moving away to California, he told ABC News.
“I became good friends with Ms. Barker,” Shuff said, adding he’s known her for almost seven to eight years. “Glen 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 touch 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 asked for her permission to upload her reaction to YouTube.
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.