This is the moment 102-year-old Alice Barker got to see her younger self dance for the very first time. Back in the the 30’s and 40’s, home video didn’t exist, which meant she never get to look back at her performances, at least not until David Shuff and Mark Cantor of Jazz on Film stepped in to help.
Shuff had met Barker years ago in the nursing home as he owns a therapy dog and everyone knew of her famous dancing past. She had been on stage with the likes of Frank Sinatra, yet she had no footage or memorabilia to remember it by.
After a lot of searching Shuff couldn’t find anything, however he reached out to Cantor who had a large archive of “soundies”, a term used for some of the very first music videos. Luckily they managed to find some footage of her dancing and showed it to her at the nursing home.
This video captures her reaction. As you can see, she quickly got back into the swing of things.