Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins uses Irish dance to improve his game, keeping him fleet of foot against his opponents.
In doing so, he has not only delighted Irish dance and football fans alike but he's also become a hero to one young Irish dancer in particular - and they got to meet in person.
Carl Tubbs, a young Irish dancer, was feeling discouraged after being bullied about his love for Irish dance - which, as Collins knows, is extremely athletically demanding.
.@Budda03 Any advice for a 12yr old boy getting bullied for taking Irish dance lessons?Maybe a shoutout to dancer Carl from you would help?— Joanne Tubbs (@Joannetubbs) October 6, 2017
Carl's mother, Joanne, reached out to Collins on Twitter hoping he might offer some words of encouragement, and Collins sent Carl a seriously empowering message, telling Carl not to give up on his dreams.
Never stop doing the things you love because someone else doesnt agree. chase your dreams Carl and don’t let them stop you from being great! https://t.co/T4MI6QQe3h— Alex Collins (@Budda03) October 7, 2017
Then, Carl got to meet his hero in person on the sidelines during a Ravens game. (Scroll ahead to 1min, 15sec to see their awesome chat)
"Having 12-year-olds laugh at me is not fun" -Baltimore Ravens' Alex Collins on Irish dancing, which he credits with helping him be a better player http://cbsn.ws/2zAysYkPosted by CBS Evening News on Tuesday, October 24, 2017
"I want you to know that I'm proud of you, man. I'm going to be following your career," Collins told him.
Tubbs said that Collins' encouragement has "really encouraged me to keep on going with Irish dance."
Collins said it feels amazing to be making a difference in someone else's life.