Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins has some fancy footwork, and not just on the NFL field. He’s a blossoming Irish dancer, too.

The 23-year-old second-year player took dance lessons prior to the NFL Draft in order to stay light and quick on his feet. And, it’s proved to be a smart decision. He’s closing in on 500 rushing yards midway through the 2017 season.

So, when Collins learned from Twitter that a young boy was being bullied at school for Irish dancing, the NFL pro stepped up.



Carl Tubbs, 12, is an accomplished Irish dancer. In fact, the boy from Des Moines, Iowa has been at it for four years. So, when kids at his school saw him practicing at recess and told him dancing is “for girls,” Carl’s mom, Joanne, reached out to Collins on Twitter.

“Any advice for a 12yr old boy getting bullied for taking Irish dance lessons? Maybe a shoutout to dancer Carl from you would help?” she wrote.

Collins responded with some heartfelt advice:



Not only that, but Collins invited Carl to meet him in Minnesota — which was driving distance from Des Moines — before and after the Ravens took on the Vikings on Oct. 22.



Collins also introduced Carl and his younger brother, Miles, to teammates and gave them signed footballs. The gifts were nice, but more meaningful than that was simply a professional football player showing that he cared.

“Knowing that a player this good also does Irish dance is pretty inspiring,” Carl told ABC News.

As for what Carl learned that he can pass along to other kids who are into non-traditional sports or hobbies, he said, “There are going to be times that are rough but just keep moving on. Find someone that you can look up to and hopefully be them someday.”

And keep those feet moving in the meantime.