Back in the 1930’s and 1940’s the Harlem Renaissance was in full swing. Jazz clubs were often packed every night, and many talented musicians would show off their skills in music as well as having backup from beautiful women that served as dancers. Many women made their living dancing jazz in these famous clubs and theaters. Alice Barker was one of them. Today, she is 102 years old.
She was a dancer at many of these clubs and was a backing dancer for many famous acts of the day. While you would not think that seeing yourself would really do anything since you actually lived through the experience and remember it well, Alice Barker was delighted for this opportunity. She had never seen any film of herself dancing before, but that was soon to change.
Thanks to Jazz on Film’s Mark Cantor, who compiled much footage of “soundies”, black and white films that had recently encountered the technology of audio, there were many films featuring Alice Barker that were collected and she was able to really see herself for the first time since she actually did the fantastic dancing which made her famous in her own right. Click to watch the video below and see this woman’s reactions to seeing herself on film all those years ago.