102-year-old Dancer Sees Self on Film for First Time

A 102-year-old Harlem Renaissance dancer got a chance to watch herself strut on film for the very first time.

As a chorus line dancer during the 1930s and 1940s, Alice Baker was featured in some of the earliest music videos ever made.

Despite having danced in numerous films, commercials and television shows, Baker had never seen any of them. She also lost all of her old photos and memorabilia over the years.

David Shuff, who met Baker while visiting the nursing home where she currently lives, teamed up with jazz film preservationist Mark Cantor to find the old footage from her career that took place more than 70 years ago.

Shuff showed Barker three short jazz films that she had starred in and recorded her actions on camera. Her reaction?

“Making me wish I could get out of this bed and do it all over again.”

Watch the touching video below:

Baker danced at The Apollo, Cotton Club, and Zanzibar Club with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

She still remembers the saying too, “Don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got swing.”

If you’re a fan of Alice, feel free to shoot her mail at:

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