Meet Cami and Vatsala: Co-Artistic Directors of Graffiti Dancers!

Names: Cami Goldstein and Vatsala Kumar

Ages: 22

Hometowns: Plano, TX and Kent, OH

Majors: Mathematics; Dance and English Literature

Roles: Co-Artistic Directors, also known as the GDADs (Graffiti Dancers Artistic Directors)

1. Why did you join this club?

Vatsala: I auditioned for Graffiti my freshman year because I knew some upperclassmen who were in the group that I really admired, and everyone I knew who talked about Graffiti mentioned the way that it feels like a family. They always talked about how everyone is so supportive of one another, and I wanted that sort of a community on campus. Additionally, the styles of dance that Graffiti does are very much in my genre, and Graffiti is the only primarily contemporary group on campus.

2. What type of dance does Graffiti Dancers specialize in?

Cami: We often say contemporary, but our dancers are very versatile! Everyone comes from different backgrounds, so depending on who is in the group at a given time, you could say that we mostly do contemporary, jazz, ballet, and/or character. We dabble in hip hop and disco also!

3. Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming performance?

Vatsala: This year’s show is called “Uncharted,” which to us is about exploring new territories and pushing our boundaries as dancers. Each spring show is completely student-choreographed by members of the group. We have petitions for pieces in October, and we cast them over winter break. Pieces rehearse throughout all of winter quarter for a performance the first week of spring. This year’s show has a huge variety of styles — a lot of contemporary, but some significant jazz, character, and ballet (including a pointe piece!). The show is all about showcasing the dancers and doing whatever our company is passionate about doing.

4. What makes this performance different from your past ones?

Cami: We’ve jam-packed this show with 20 pieces, included concept videos, and have a cast that is larger than in past years! The content of our show this year has a lot of powerful and emotional pieces, as well as the high-energy ones that we always love to perform. In addition, this show is different than our collaboration performances with the Northwestern Undertones (Graffundertones) and Tonik Tap (Graffoniks), due to the very high production value of our mainstage show. We convert Norris’s McCormick Auditorium into a full stage, with a new floor and high-quality lights. Some of Northwestern’s best lighting designers sign on to work with us for the show, and their work enhances our dancing a lot!

5. Will you be dancing in this upcoming performance?

Cami and Vatsala: Yes!

BONUS: Whats one thing that you want all of your fans to know?

Cami: Members of Graffiti come from a variety of academic fields on campus, and love to share dance with people outside of our company. You might find a Graffeet in your Orgo class, on stage in the Waa-Mu show, leading a campus tour, or at Andy’s (this one happens frequently). And our favorite thing is to connect with those friends across campus. Along these lines, we have open Graffiti Spring Sunday classes starting after Uncharted closes, and they are meant for students with dance experience and no dance experience alike!