An American Football player celebrated his first touchdown in style – with a little jig of Irish dancing.
Alex Collins is one of the most exciting young players in American Football. He has remained close to his high school coach Doug Gatewood, whose daughter Bryanne is an Irish dancer.
For years, Collins and Bryanne argued whether or not Irish dancing was a ‘real sport’. Collins claimed it wasn’t because it wasn’t televised, whereas Bryanne insisted it was as real sports involve competition.
Eventually, Collins was persuaded to go along to an Irish dance class to find out for himself and has never looked back.
He now trains in Irish dancing every week and has even given himself an alter ego of Michell Findley, as a tribute to Riverdance legend Michael Flatley.
Collins said: “The hardest thing is trying to jump without using my arms, because in football we jump and use our arms to help us. I’m like a chicken running around trying to keep one arm down and my other arm is flapping around.”
American Footballers dancing is not as strange as it might seem. Many athletes have trained in various dance genres in the past to improve their balance, speed and agility.
Collins has even revealed he is choreographing an Irish dance routine to perform in celebration on the field if he scores an important touchdown.
He said: “Something quick and fancy so that when the fans see, they know it is Irish dancing … but at the same time, I want to add a little jazz to it.”
Here is Collins practicing with his friend Bryanne.