What NFL Player Did Ballet?


The concept of a National Football League (NFL) player taking up ballet is not something that most people would think of. But that’s exactly what New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins did when he decided to take the leap into the world of classical dance.

Rankins, who stands at 6’2” and weighs 305 pounds, began his journey into ballet in 2016. He was inspired by his wife who had studied ballet for many years and was eager to try something new.

Rankins initially was hesitant about taking up ballet, as he thought it would be too difficult for him to learn and master. But with encouragement from his wife and support from the New Orleans Saints organization, he decided to give it a shot.

At first, Rankins practiced alone in his home, but eventually he enrolled in classes at the New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA). Initially Rankins was intimidated by the other students in his class who had been studying ballet for much longer than him. But with hard work and dedication, Rankins soon became proficient at basic ballet steps.

In addition to improving his technical skills, Rankins also learned about the importance of balance and flexibility in dance. He quickly realized that these same principles applied to football as well – especially when it came to maintaining proper posture on the field.

He also gained an appreciation for the artistry involved in classical dance, which has helped him become more versatile as an athlete.

In fact, Rankins recently stated that “ballet has played a huge role in my success as a football player”.

Rankins has now been studying ballet for four years and continues to receive support from both his family and teammates. He also frequently visits NOBA to help teach classes or mentor aspiring dancers.


Sheldon Rankins of the New Orleans Saints is one NFL player who successfully took up ballet as a hobby. Through hard work and dedication he has become proficient in basic ballet steps, learned about balance and flexibility, gained an appreciation for the artistry involved in classical dance, and even uses what he has learned on the football field. He continues to receive support from both family and teammates in this unique pursuit.