Tulane defensive end takes ballet lessons

Nick Ducote

Ade Aruna, Tulane University business senior and defensive end this year for the Green Wave, looks to make a splash in his last season.

This year he hopes to play even better, but is approaching offseason workouts in a different way. Aruna has added dance classes to
his schedule.

“I’m used to dancing since I was little. That kind of helped me with my footwork on playing on the football field too, so I kind of enjoyed it even though it was a kind of pain in the butt a little bit,”Aruna said.

Dancing has always been special to Aruna because it was part of his upbringing in Nigeria. His family thrived off of competition
and dance.

“It’s one of the things I liked to do growing up. I remembered before my grandpa died, anytime we visited him, he would put the grandsons and granddaughters together, and the person that danced the most got some kind of candy or prize from him. It was just pure fun and movement,” Aruna said.

In the past four years, Tulane’s football team has not been known to have a winning streak, though they are known for the amount of their players who have gone on to the NFL.

A total of 12 players since the year 2000 have joined the ranks of the NFL, one becoming a Super Bowl champion.

Tulane’s defensive line coach, Kevin Peoples, already sees another football player that can become a solid player in the NFL one day
in Aruna.

“Ade can be a first day draft pick next year in the NFL. I mean, he’s got that ability. I think that we’ve seen his improvement on a regular basis; if he continues to improve like that, Ade can be a household name for many years to come in the NFL,” Peoples said.

Aruna is not the first football player to hit the barre. Pittsburg Steelers Hall of Fame receiver Lynn Swann took dance classes and footwork that carried him to a Super Bowl.

Aruna and the Green Wave hope to do better this season with the current coaching staff in their second season as a staff in New Orleans.