Tommy Godsey is a proponent of staying active as part of a healthy lifestyle. For Halloween this year, however, Godsey’s focus is instead on death—more specifically, the Dance of Death. As president of RIT’s Ultimate Club, the ultimate (Frisbee) team of the university, Godsey is organizing the 15th annual Danse Macabre, an ultimate tournament in which the players all dress in Halloween costumes. Named after a French allegory on the universality of death, the two-day event on Oct. 27 and 28 is open to anyone and typically has teams from schools across the Northeast.
Question: Where are you from?
Answer: I’m from Williamson, N.Y. It’s a small town—I graduated high school with only 85 other kids. It’s apple country; there are orchards everywhere. The Mott’s factory is a few miles from the center of town.
Q: What brought you to RIT?
A: When I first started looking for schools, I knew that I couldn’t afford to go out of state. So that narrowed things down quite a bit. After living in such a small town, I knew that I wanted to go somewhere bigger. That narrowed it down some more. Ultimately, it came down to my major. RIT was, and still is, the only school in the area with a top-rated game design program.
Q: What activities are you involved in at RIT?
A: I play intramural soccer with the pep band. However, most of my free time is spent at the gym, or doing stuff for the RIT Men’s Ultimate Club, the Spudheds—it’s actually spelled like that. Especially now that I’m the president, there’s a lot that goes into it. We have practice, CrossFit conditioning and games during the week. On the weekends, we usually travel to other schools in the tri-state area to compete in tournaments.
Q: What has been your favorite thing that you’ve ever done?
A: Wildwood 2012. Wildwood is a beach ultimate tournament in Wildwood, N.J. This summer was my second time going, and although I’ve had some pretty good spring breaks, Wildwood 2012 was easily one of the best experiences I’ve ever had.
Q: In your opinion, what is the most interesting or unique thing about yourself?
A: My freshman year, my friend Willie gave me the nickname Mickey, as in Mickey Mouse. So, whenever I played ultimate, or was with teammates, they called me Mickey. Since that’s what they know me by, I would introduce myself as Mickey at any ultimate tournament or around other ultimate players. I’d have to guess that now more people know me as Mickey than by my real name. I don’t think some of the freshmen know my real name.
Q: What is Danse Macabre?
A: Danse Macabre—which is French for the Dance of Death—is RIT Ultimate’s annual Halloween tournament. Of course, this means costumes. Teams from all over will come to RIT for the weekend to compete and play, in costume, at the tournament. Danse is the largest tournament in the Northeast. We have around 45 teams from more than a dozen schools coming. We even have some local and alumni teams. This year, I think the team traveling the farthest is SUNY Plattsburg, however in years past, we’ve had teams like University of Massachusetts-Lowell come to the event. As for costumes, we’ve seen everything: lumberjacks, ninjas, sports teams, rabbis, the University of Rochester track team, Steve Urkel, “Star Wars,” doctors, “Reservoir Dogs,” you name it.
Q: How did you get involved with it and what is your role?
A: I got involved with Danse my freshman year. It was my first time playing in it. I played on the B-team with the rest of the rookies. It was my favorite year of the event. As a veteran the two following years (my sophomore and junior years), I was given more responsibilities and more stuff to do to get ready for Danse. This year, as the president of the Ultimate Club, it’s my job to set up the tournament. I started getting ready for this back in August, and now Danse is just a few days away, and I couldn’t be more excited. I want to say that I would be nowhere without the help of the rest of the team. Greco, Sam, Ginger, JP, Sno, Sauce, Conner, Taylor, Alicia and everyone else—huge shout out to them for all they’ve done.
Q: Is there anything that you would like the RIT community to know about the Ultimate Club?
A: I would love to spread the sport of ultimate. People always ask if it’s like “frolf” or disc golf, and I like to tell them it’s the more athletic version. It’s really unique in the fact that there are no referees in the game, everything is player officiated; anyone can call a foul. It is governed by this thing called “Spirit of the Game,” which basically says that sportsmanship and playing fair is part of the game. Besides that, it’s a really athletic sport, it can get really intense, but it still has a sense of flair or style when someone makes a nice throw or grab. If anyone is looking to play, RIT’s Ultimate Club, call the Spudheds or Spuds for short, is always accepting new members. We play and practice all year round. Just shoot us an e-mail at RITUltimate@gmail.com. It’s never too late to start playing.
Q: What advice would you give to other students?
A: We seem to have some freshmen on the team who have been complaining about how much work they have, and my advice for them is that “you’re a freshman, your work isn’t that hard.” For everyone else, I highly recommend joining a club on campus. It’s a great way to meet people and feel like part of a community. Some of my best friends are fellow Spuds. I’m also a huge advocate of staying active. It’s a great way to make it through those cold and long winter days.
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: By spring, I’m hoping to have a full-time position somewhere. It doesn’t even have to be at a game company, I just want to work somewhere warm, at a job I like, and play ultimate on the side.
Matt Gregory compiles “Student Spotlights” for University News. Contact him at email@example.com with suggestions.