Our Staff:

Staff: Brecca Smith

Brecca Smith

(Competitions Coordinator)

(She / Her or They/Them)

You know those gifts people give you and you think, hey, this is a gift you wanted for yourself, isn't it? Well, in 2007 Brecca's brother gave her one of those — a weekend pass to Emerald City Blues Festival. He'd been dragging her out swing dancing since back in 2002, and she thought it was pretty alright. So she went, to humor him. Cue lifelong obsession. Now, you know how this part of the story goes: dancing till dawn every night, traveling, taking classes, sleeping on friends' floors, sloughing off everything that is not dance. Life becoming nothing but dance. Then, a few years in, life becoming a few things besides dance. Art, writing, teaching, graduate school in psychology. But always coming back to the blues. Coming back to the music that lives in the most achingly painful and passionate human places. Brecca has a suspicion that this — turning to creation in celebration and in struggle, as the blues always does — is what we humans are meant for. It's an honor to help bring that gift to ya'll for yet another year of her inaugural blues event: Emerald City Blues Festival.

Staff: Emily Smith

Emily Smith


(She / Her)

Emily first learned to social dance at age 16, when she was asked to join a Lindy Hop performance team in small town, Utah. In college, she attended various Lindy Hop events where she was first introduced to Blues Dancing. It was love at first dance. She followed dance to Seattle and wanted to learn anything and everything she could about blues. She first started getting involved as a blues DJ in the Seattle blues scene by taking the advice of Steven Watkins: volunteer to DJ everywhere and often. She started out as one of Burn Blue’s first DJ’s which later evolved into coaching new aspiring blues DJs in Seattle. Since then, Emily has DJ’d at each main blues venue in Seattle for 13 years and many weekend blues events including ECBF, Rain City Blues, Seattle Lindy Exchange (blues room), Camp Jitterbug (soul room), Champagne and Emeralds, as well as regional events like Rose City Blues (Portland). The passion for blues led her to DJ at various national events in the US and Canada including BluesShout, Cuisin’ for a Bluesin’, and many others. In addition to DJ’ing for events, Emily was one of the DJ coordinators for the traveling fusion exchange (Boston, SF, Vegas). Emily currently has the day job of going to college to pursue a career in nursing and is a proud parent of two children age 7 and 9, co-parenting with Michael Smith. Emily is most excited about ECBF for the opportunities for community involvement and growth!

Staff: Isabelle Zimmerman

Isabelle Zimmerman

(Conflict Mediator, Food coordinator)

(She/ Her)

Izzy has been a Seattle-based blues dancer since 2014 and organizer since 2016. Inspired by her personal experience as a venue organizer, she obtained a mediation certificate from King County Dispute Center in 2017. She is a Vipassana meditator, a Compassionate Communication (NVC) advocate, and Pleasure Activist. Her favorite YouTube channel is ContraPoints, her favorite book is The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin, and her favorite pass-time is drinking mescal in the bath.

Staff: Michael Smith

Michael Smith


(He / Him)

Since childhood, Michael has always had a passion for dance and its fun learning environment. He has been a leader in social dance communities for more than 15 years, including Lindy Hop, blues, and fusion communities. Michael began to learn social dance in the St. Petersburg, Florida swing scene in 1998. In college he served as President of the BYU Swing Kids Club. At that time he also organized workshops, DJ'd, taught, choreographed, performed, and hosted regular house parties. He was a co-founder of the Utah Swing Dance Association and In-Between Swing. After moving to Seattle in 2005, Michael was a co-founder of Burn Blue (2007), a director for Blues Underground (2008), a host for Back Alley Blues (2010), a host for Om Fusion (2011), and a coordinator for Seattle Fusion Experiment (2011). Michael also helped coordinate Emerald City Blues Festival 2007 - 2011 and Rain City Blues 2012. Most recently, Michael co-founded Alibi Blues (2016 - present), and is a host for Blues Underground (2017 - present). Michael has a day job building software and is a proud father of two daughters, ages 7 & 9, who rock out on the dance floor in their own unique style.

As a director of Burn Blue and the Emerald City Blues Festival 2019, Michael is excited to help create an environment that lifts both the local community and the national community to higher levels of dance experiences.

Staff: Sean Marushia

Sean Marushia

(Bar Manager)

(He/ Him)

Sean’s less partner dancer and more partner dancing adjacent. Because he’s also frequently found adjacent to bars, and making people drinks is one of his love languages, he will be bringing you a selection of craft cocktails at this year’s ECBF.

You can also find Sean on ultimate fields throwing discs, or teaching high school aged people how to be better adults. Don’t worry, his students don’t believe in his adulthood any more than he does.