Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins gave a spectacular Irish dance performance last night on the NFL talent show MVP: Most Valuable Performer.
The football player, a student of the Drake School of Irish Dance in South Florida, appeared with his dance partner, Bryanne Gatewood and dancers from Cleary Irish Dance in a routine set to Ed Sheeran's Galway Girl.
Check out this fancy footwork!
While voters ultimately chose Ravens kicker Justin Tucker's opera singing as the top performance of the night, we think Collins is the real hero, especially given all the amazing work he has done as an advocate for Irish dance and a voice against bullying.
Collins has been Irish dancing since 2011, when his high school football coach's daughter challenged him on whether he was quick, nimble, and strong enough to try out Irish dancing. Much to his surprise, he not only loved it but also recognized how helpful it was for building the strength and conditioning he needs as a football player.
Now, Collins is known for his signature touchdown celebration move: an Irish jig.
His love of Irish dance is also having an impact on younger dancers. Last year, the mother of a 12-year-old boy who was being bullied about his love of Irish dance reached out to Collins on Twitter.
.@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
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
Collins send Carl a strong message of support, and later met him on the sidelines during a Ravens game to offer more words of encouragement.
"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 with Jeff Glor on Tuesday, October 24, 2017
We hope to see more touchdown jigs and Irish dance performances from him soon!