They’re not quite Ray Lewis’ “The Squirrel,” but Ravens coach John Harbaugh’s locker room dance moves have certainly already made their mark on team culture.
Harbaugh was recorded joining his team in a celebratory locker room dance again Saturday after their 34-10 divisional round playoff victory over the Houston Texans that pushed Baltimore to next Sunday’s AFC championship game, the first the city will host since 1971. The video, in which he is seen dancing along with rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers and several assistants, quickly went viral.
“I was hyped to see it,” said Ryan Daly, part of the self-named “Ravens Walk crew” that has performed their TikTok-famous, Baltimore club-influenced dance routines at every home game this season.
Daly, known by the nickname “Ayo Shag” on social media, said Harbaugh is definitely on the right track, with the right influences. The 61-year-old is probably picking up some lessons from Odell Beckham Jr., the Ravens’ animated wide receiver, said Kenneth Worsley, a fellow member of the pregame hype crew who performs as “TSU Flash.”
“[Harbaugh] was definitely busting moves,” said Wayne “Ty” Reese, known as “Uncle Grandpa” on the Ravens Walk.
Addressing his dancing later Saturday, Harbaugh said the celebration was started by tight end coach George Godsey, who picked “Party Train” by The Gap Band to start it off. Harbaugh couldn’t remember the name of the song, guessing “Night Train.”
“I should know that song; it’s my era,” he said. “George got us started, and we all got in there and danced, so I just want you to know — it wasn’t just me.”
This isn’t the first time the coach busted out his moves — he was seen getting down after the team clinched the AFC’s No. 1 seed and first-round playoff bye on New Year’s Eve with a shellacking of the Miami Dolphins.
But his technique seemed to have advanced over the past few weeks. Harbaugh incorporated some new arm movements into a power-stepping routine before entering a sideways hop with his right fist pumping toward his cheering team.
“I think Coach been in the lab,” said Tanika “Skinnygirl” Raye, another Ravens hypester. The dancers said they plan to incorporate “The Harbaugh” into their upcoming routines as the Ravens progress through the playoffs.
Despite its novelty, the dance doesn’t quite reach the legendary status of Hall of Fame Ravens linebacker Lewis’ venerable celebration dance, “The Squirrel,” a celebratory side-to-side shimmy followed by a warrior-like pose.
“Nothing beats ‘The Squirrel,’” Worsley said.
“You feel different hitting ‘The Squirrel,’” Reese added.
“If you can’t do ‘The Squirrel,’ this is a good first step,” said fellow dancer Errigh LaBoo Jr., also known as Neek B. LaBoo serves as CEO of Bmore Than Dance, a nonprofit initiative that represents Baltimore dance culture and honors all the gameday hype crew members in its hall of fame.
Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott shared Harbaugh’s dance video on Instagram, substituting in the Baltimore club anthem “Bring in The Katz” by KW Griff and DJ Pork Chop and captioning that the Ohio-native coach is “a true Baltimorean.”
By Sunday afternoon, the renowned 92Q DJ, real name Johnny Doswell, got to work on a song for the Ravens. Streaming part of the production process on Instagram, he sampled Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony’s “The Hustle.”
“It’s really gonna be like a line dance,” Doswell said on the livestream. He stopped streaming before writing out any lines but noted the 1975 disco hit’s repeated lyric “do the hustle!” would, naturally, be replaced by “do the Harbaugh!”