I have a feeling I know what Ravens rookie offensive lineman Alex Lewis is going to be "asked" to perform for the veterans during training camp.
The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Lewis is a trained dancer who is particularly proud of his ballroom dancing skills. He's quite a blend of both his parents.
Lewis' father, Bill Lewis, spent eight years in the NFL as a center with the Raiders, Cardinals and Patriots (1986-1993). The rookie's mother, Kimberly Lewis, owns Dance Studio 111 in Phoenix.
Bill didn't want Alex to play football until he was 13 years old, so for roughly the first 10 years of Alex's life, Kimberly took him to the dance studio. That meant Alex started dancing when he was just 3.
"Mom took full advantage," Alex said with a laugh. "She's real proud of it. That's her claim to fame."
So what types of dancing does Lewis do?
"I do it all: acro, hip hop, ballroom, a little bit of tap," the Nebraska product said. "I'm pretty good at ballroom dancing. I like to puff my chest out about that one."
Google "acro dance." Imagine an offensive lineman doing that. Mind blowing. (Now imagine Lewis playing football in tap shoes … hehe.)
Those moves have to help Lewis on the football field, right?
"I'd like to say I've got pretty good footwork," Alex said.
Shockingly, Alex hasn't yet told his teammates about his dancing prowess. He first leaked it in our "Meet The Rookies" interview, and his mom definitely took notice.
First of all, I really need to see Alex dance – preferably in an end zone someday. Second, I need to meet his mom because she seems fantastic.
Remember, Kimberly is the person who answered the home phone when Head Coach John Harbaugh called to inform the family that Alex was about to become a Baltimore Raven. Here's the conversation between she and Harbaugh, as recounted by Harbaugh on draft day:
Harbaugh: "Is Alex there?"
Kimberly: "No, he's not. May I ask whose calling?"
Harbaugh: "It's John Harbaugh, with the Ravens."
Kimberly: "Oh, well how can I help you?"
Harbaugh: "Well, we were hoping that Alex would become a Baltimore Raven, and we're thinking about drafting him. Is he there right now?"
Kimberly: "No, he just stepped out and he went to the store, but he'll be back in a little while."
Kimberly: "Now who is this team again?"
Harbaugh: "It's the Ravens." [Pandemonium in the house ensues]
Yes, Alex was at the grocery store when the Ravens drafted him. General Manager Ozzie Newsome has a rule about getting his draft picks on the phone before they turn in the selection to, as morbid as it may sound, make sure they're still alive. He almost didn't have that assurance before drafting Alex.
"I was hungry. We had food at the house but the family was a little nervous, so I needed a break and to talk to some civilized people," Alex said with a laugh.
While in line at the store with his cousin, Lewis' cell phone rang. In typical cell phone protocol fashion, right when he was getting perhaps the most important call of his life, the connection started cutting out.
"All I heard was, 'Home phone,'" Alex said. "So right away I just told the cashier, 'I'll be right back.' I jumped in the truck, sped home real quick, and, sure enough, my mom was still on the phone. It was a cool experience."