Have You Met?

Mike Smith is a steely lawyer by day, but when the sun goes down, he turns into the Fred Astaire of Denver. He is known around town for his numerous non-profit activities, and if you attended this year’s Heart Ball, you saw the line of women waiting to take a spin on the dance floor with him at $50 a pop. All for charity, of course.

“Some women are actually scared to dance with me,” says Mike. “I think they’re afraid I’m going to hurt them by flinging them around the room.” But without exception, those who have taken the plunge with Mike agree: he is the best dancer this side of the Mississippi.

Mike’s love of dance began as a child growing up in Craig. “I remember my parents taking me down to the Trocadero Ballroom at Elitch’s, which at the time was a regular stop on the Big Band tours. For hours, I would watch these beautiful couples twirling around the wooden dance floor and it was all so romantic.”

Having only taken one dance lesson in his life, Mike’s skills come from watching old Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly movies. He’s also picked up steps from some old favorites such as “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” “ 42nd Street” and “Chorus Line,” and from modern movies, including “Flashdance” and “Fame.”

For Mike, nothing beats an evening of Big Band hits and punishing the parquet. And the great news is that he’s always on the lookout for new dance partners!

Mike Smith

Favorite Clothing Stores:  My look is kind of the aging, adult, preppy look, so my shopping is not very exciting, I usually go to J. Crew or Eddie Bauer.

What gives a woman or man style: Someone who is truly comfortable with themselves.

Favorite Restaurant:  Currently it’s Potager on Capitol Hill.

Which social event is your favorite? The Debutante Ball in December at the Brown Palace.


What are your volunteer activities? I’m on the Board of the American Heart Association and the Denver Board for The National Conference on Community and Justice. I also do volunteer work for the Heart Ball, the Benjamin F. Stapleton Tribute Dinner, Social Venture Partners, the Brown Robe benefit for the Capuchin Friars and the Daniels Foundation.  I have also served on the University of Colorado Greek Excellence Task Force, the Colorado Bar Association Long Range Planning Committee and the board of Kelsey-Jenney College in San Diego.  Additionally, I have chaired a number of Colorado Bar Association state conventions.


Who is your hero?  Why? My maternal grandfather, because he has the most gracious spirit and soul of anyone I have ever known. I, however, have my grandmother’s fiery temperament, and that isn’t pretty.


If your life were a movie, who would play your part? Well, I’d like to say Robert Redford, but with my luck it would be John Belushi.  

Saturdays are likely to find you: Running errands

Where can you be found at midnight on a Saturday? Watching the last people leave an event, or in bed.

Do you have any pets? A cat named Biff, who was given to me when I turned 30, so he is ooooooold.

When you move, what will your home tell its next owner about you? I had too much stuff, too much art.


What one word describes you best? Organized.


What word would you like others to use to describe you? Organized.


What was your first job? I delivered papers for Bob Sweeney when he owned the local paper in Craig, Colorado, and lived two houses up the street from us. 


What word or expression do you use too much? A word you can’t print! But the word I don’t use often enough is “no.”.


If there were one thing you would change about yourself, what would it be? More dedicated about going to the gym every day.


What is your greatest indulgence? Dark chocolate, and bourbon.


What is a favorite childhood memory? I had such a great childhood that it’s hard to pick just one memory. My family is so wonderful and supportive that just thinking about my childhood gives me a warm, good feeling.

When and where were you happiest? Right now, and I know tomorrow will be even better.  

Which talent would you most like to have? A great singing voice.

What is your current state of mind? Happy.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?  The work I do mentoring for my undergraduate fraternity chapter, Lambda Chi Alpha. I have seen it change lives for the better and I feel like it really makes a difference.  

What is your most treasured possession? My wonderful friends. I’m blessed to have lots of them.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Having Alzheimer’s, when you can’t participate intellectually with anyone. 

What is your favorite occupation? Dancer for big Broadway shows.

What is the quality you most like in a person? Integrity.  People who can always be counted on to be who they are, and mean what they say.

Who are your favorite writers?  J. R. R. Tolkien, Andre Norton, Raymond E. Feist.  I’m a huge science fiction and fantasy buff, and so was my Dad. My basement is full of thousands of these books. 

What is the best advice you have ever received?   It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission.