Jaesic Wade – Safety and Access

Jaesic Wade [they/it] is so excited to be joining us at Steel City Blues as our Safety and Access Lead this year!

Jaesic has been a huge movement nerd all their life. With Blues, they have been a part of the community since 2014 in dancing, DJing, teaching, but took a bit of a hiatus these last few years.

They are so excited to be coming back to it all with our event! For the past year and a half, however, they have been cultivating knowledge and skill for developing safer dance spaces through Consent Academy classes, their time as a peer support specialist, and through their long term work of being a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice educator, consultant, and coach.

For the last 7 months, Jaesic has been working with Fen Lastra (Kennedy) through their joint project Changeling Spaces, a safety and access resource for policy, protocol, consultation, education, and facilitation. Together they are supporting dance scenes across the country to implement policy that fosters new culture for accessibility, inclusion, and safety.

As one half of Changeling Spaces, Jaesic will be consulting with Fen throughout our event to ensure we have an as safe and accessible event as possible! If you have any questions or safety/accessibility concerns prior to the event, please comment below or email with the subject “Steel City Safety Inquiry.”

Daniel Verdon – Emcee

Daniel fell in love with partner dancing over a decade ago, mesmerized by the healing power of dance. After several years as a dancer, he first starting giving back to his scene by djing and then learning how to teach dance. He has spent the last several years as an organizer for his hometown scene in Cincinnati and is the proud co-owner of Queen City Swing Dance.

What Daniel loves most about the Blues is its ability to tell a story that touches the soul. As an Emcee he loves to promote bands and deejays and share the energy and joy that dancing gives him. He is over the moon for the return of Steel City Blues!

PC: John Li

J and Katie from Fuse Live Arts – Lighting

They have brought magic to dance events for a decade, travelling coast-to-coast to internationally

J and Katie stage live sound and light performance! J’s custom designed control system makes the room literally dance along with you. Working toward his M.S. in Lighting Engineering at Penn State, J is always creating in light

Want to hear more stories? Ask them about the time they marched 100 dancers deep into the forest to experience a sylvan dance space with off-grid lighting and sound. Or about the time they closed Gordon Webster’s last heartfelt blues tune with 10 seconds of the richest darkness you’ll ever experience!

Marjorie Bartell – DJ Coordinator

Marjorie Bartell (she/they) has been social dancing Blues, Lindy Hop, and Balboa since 2016, and started DJing in 2019.

She is passionate about dance and music history, and loves seeking out new local bands and artists to support in the local Jazz and Blues communities.

You’ll often find her raving about some new show or movie on the internet, or nerding out about music or dance.

Jesse Barber – Volunteer Coordinator

Jesse first started dancing Blues and Lindy Hop in 2017, and fell deeply in love with blues after attending Steel City Blues the following year. When he was in Buffalo, there was no blues scene to be found; and so, he started a scene himself to get his fix and share his love of the dance with those around him. Mid-Pandemic, he landed in the DC area and has been bringing his passion and knowledge of blues dancing to others again.

Jesse enjoys all that blues has to offer, but holds a special place in his heart for a comfy close embrace. If you want to find Jesse on the dance floor, its easy: just look up!

Braden Nesin – Photographer

Braden Nesin has been photographing dance events all across the US since 2007, and live music before that.

More recently his work centers around naked people ( but he still loves capturing the magic that is live performance whenever he can.

Paige Veldman – Late Night Host

Paige has been dancing Blues for years and her alter ego Late Night Paige is the hero we all need! The one who is awake at night, so that your tiny team of three organizers can sleep a little.

Paige is our last minute savior, so this bio is just a placeholder written by Emily.


Kelsey Chase

Kelsey (she/they) has been dancing blues and attending social dance events since 2015. She found her way into organizing as part of the Sweet Molasses Blues team in 2019, and is very excited to be working with the Steel City Blues team in this post-pandemic world!

Outside of the dance scene, you can find her mixing up cocktails, painting, or sprawling across surfaces with her two cats.

Mimi Xia

Hi, my name is Mimi.

When I am not dancing, I am a couch potato and sometimes an comic book artist and illustrator. Come and dance with me!

Sara Owens

Sara (she/her) wandered into a dance studio fifteen years ago and has been hooked ever since.

She is thrilled to be assisting SCB this year. After all, it was Steel City that introduced her to blues dancing in the first place. She has also been a coordinator with PittStop Lindy Hop for the last five years.