The Staff


Photo Credit: Megan Hauk, HMMM Productions

Photo Credit: Megan Hauk, HMMM Productions

Ian Howe

Owner/Instructor

Ian Howe was inspired to start tap dancing at age 5 when he watched Savion Glover perform on Sesame Street.  He started training at a small studio in Woodinville, later moving to what would become his dance home for almost 18 years, Backstage Dance Studio owned by Marty Roberts.  While at Backstage, Ian competed regionally and nationally on their competitive dance team.  While competing he was able to take classes from greats like Frank Hatchet, Joe Tremaine and Joe Lantieri. In 2004, Ian took the incredible opportunity to travel and perform all over the world as a dancer and singer on Holland America Line, where he remained for almost eight years. Returning to both land (and his roots) in 2011, Ian started teaching again at Backstage, throwing himself into the hip-hop world and choreographing award-winning numbers for four years.  This past summer, he is very happy to see his 3rd musical, "Legally Blonde, The Musical" take stage at the beginning of August with Rosebud Children's Theater Conservatory. 

Ian's is the Owner + Artistic Director of Pacific West Performing Arts (PacWestDance.com), serving two locations in both Snohomish & Lake Stevens.  He is VERY excited to have the ability to bring a continued focus for Dance & the Arts to the community!  Ian continues to teach at various studios around the Seattle area while continuing to travel around the US setting competitive choreography, running intensives and getting to meet some new and wonderfully inspiring dance teachers and students. This year Ian will be joining Headliner’s National Competition (www.headlinerscompetition.com) as an Emcee and Platinum National Competition (www.danceplatinum.com) as a Judge!
 

Ian performs regularly with 3rd Shift Dance under the direction of Xaviera Vandermay and he is also Associate Director for the 3rd Shift Dance Youth Ensemble.  With 3SD, Ian has had a plethora of performances, including live collaborative performances with musicians Caela Bailey, The Bad Tenants, Naomi Wachira, and Whitney Mongé, back up dancing for Fly Moon Royalty and Mike Illvester, music videos with Vespera, Naomi Wachira & Whitney Mongé, getting Gooed with photographer Meagan Hall of Blue Cone Studios, became community partners with the Lupus Foundation of America, performing on stage across the Pacific Northwest and Los Angeles. Ian had the chance to dance with Version Excursion at Seattle International Dance Festival for a live performance "March To May".  3rd Shift Dance will be teaming up with the Pacific Science Center to bring Climate Change to the forefront for conversation in their next show, so look out for info on that!  Ian enjoys teaching all over and he hopes to continue to "Motivate & Inspire through Dance" wherever he goes.


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Vanessa Bou

Office Manager - Snohomish Location

Although Vanessa Bou doesn’t have much of a dance background, she's still very excited to be working at PacWest!

During Vanessa's child and teenage years, she did many sports, but was most passionate about gymnastics. After an injury, she had to stop competing, but soon started acro at PacWest. That was short lived due to the extent of of her injury.

Outside of the studio, you can find Vanessa taking classes at Everett Community College, where she is getting her direct transfer Business Administration Associate’s Degree, filming videos for her YouTube channel, hiking, traveling and exploring the world, or doing impromptu photo shoots anywhere and everywhere.

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Sydney Arango

Office Manager - Lake Stevens Location

Sydney Arango began gymnastics and dance at three years old. Growing up she also did competitive soccer, figure skating, and high diving. Once in high school she chose to leave gymnastics to be the colorguard captain for her high schools marching band, while continuing to dance and perform in live theater. Sydney graduated from FAU in 2015 with a Bachelors in design for technical theater and recently moved to the area from South Florida.  

In her free time she loves to explore Washington, do DIY crafts, practice yoga, and spend time with her husband and their dogs. Sydney is excited to be a part of the PacWest family!

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Breanna Kauffman

Administrative Assistant

Breanna started to dance at the age of 12 and quickly fell in love. Once in college, she expanded her dance background to include Ballroom and Latin, even joining the University of Idaho's Ballroom Team! 

Breanna also competed in pageants for 10 years, earning the titles of the 2017 International Junior Miss Washington, 2013 International Junior Miss Idaho, and 2012 National American Miss Idaho. As Miss Washington, Breanna was able to travel and volunteer all around the Pacific Northwest and at Internationals she placed 2nd runner up to the Spokesmodel competition, won the International Interview award, and placed top 15 in the world!

Breanna now lives in Everett with her fiance Zack. They love everything Disney and can't wait to get married! Breanna looks forward to growing with PacWest and to hopefully return to the pageant stage as a Ms. contestant.

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Lisa Buettner

Administrative Assistant/Instructor

Lisa Buettner received her dance training in the Seattle area focusing on jazz, hip hop, lyrical, ballet and musical theatre. She studied at Bellevue Community College and was a member of the Eastside Moving Company and Fusion Dance Company of Seattle. She has taught and judged locally and has choreographed competition jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, music theatre, and high school dance teams. Along with teaching and choreographing for Village Theatre’s Kidstage program, she also has over 5 years of experience managing local dance studios in the Mill Creek area and on the Eastside.  Her most recent ventures include earning her jazz, modern and ballet certification and is now a national certified tester to test teachers into Dance Masters of America association. Lisa is passionate about teaching and enjoys spreading the love of dance to her students. She is excited to join PacWest dance family!


Our Instructors


Photo Credit: Megan Hauk, HMMM Productions

Photo Credit: Megan Hauk, HMMM Productions

Kelly Charlton

Jazz

Kelly Charlton opened PacWest in 2004, seeing a need for a family-friendly studio that allows kids to participate in as much or as little dance as they and their parents felt they could handle. Her vision was a studio that delivered high quality training but kept requirements realistic and, at the very core, kept classes fun.  

Kelly has performed regionally and nationally with a multitude of performing groups and in a ton of different genres -- hip hop, tap, modern, etc. At the age of 33 she knew that her performing days were behind her and she should focus on being the best studio owner she could be. Around that same time she was starting to attend Seahawks games on a regular basis.  At a freezing November game in 2009 she looked down at the Sea Gals and thought "THAT is what I need to do."  She made the team that year, and received the highest score two of the four years she tried out in a field of up to 250 ladies. She was immediately put into a leadership role as a squad leader. The Sea Gals provided the perfect mix of teaching, performing, precision dancing, being glamorous (who knew?) and getting to be a part of something bigger -- the greatest four-years the Hawks have ever known.  

Her passion for football and performing for the 12's revitalized her passion for teaching, and she loved being able to share this with her students.

Kelly lives in Mill Creek with her husband, Mark, and daughter, Page.

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Lovetta Downes

Jazz, Acro, Turns & Leaps

Lovetta Downes, a California native, received her B.A. in Theater and Dance from Sonoma State University and her M.F.A. in Dance from the University of California, Irvine. 

Since moving to Washington, she has taught at Cornish College of the Arts, North Seattle Community College and various dance schools in Skagit and Snohomish Counties. Currently, she teaches dance and choreographs competition pieces for Performing Companies and soloists throughout the Snohomish and Skagit areas.

Ms. Lovetta is going into her 10th year of teaching at PacWest Performing Arts! 

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Jamie Rood

Tiny Twos, Ballet, Jazz, Tap

Jamie Rood received her primary training in Northern California from instructors affiliated with the San Francisco Ballet and The New York City Ballet Company. 

As a member of Rhythm N'Motion Performing Company, she traveled around California participating in National Conventions, and is well versed in competitive ballet, lyrical and jazz.

Jamie began teaching after completing a competitive teacher's training program in 2005 and later moved to Seattle and received her Bachelors of Arts with a major in dance in December of 2011 from the University of Washington.

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Molly Pishue

Tiny Twos, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Twinkles

Molly Pishue has been teaching dance in the Pacific Northwest for the past 12 years, as well as dancing with the Eastside Moving Company for three seasons. Molly has taught dance at Bellevue Dance Academy and Elizabeth’s Dance Dimensions, specializing in children’s dance - ballet, tap, and jazz.

She has taught private and competition Couples 2-step, East & West Coast Swing and Line Dance, as well as performed and competed in East Coast Couples dance contests. Molly also choreographed and danced with the McCabes Cowgirl Dance Team, Seattle Sonics Dance Team and has coached many cheerleading and dance teams throughout the Pacific Northwest. She graduated from UW with a major in Speech Communications and a minor in dance.

Molly lives in Lake Stevens with her husband, Gus, and eleven year old daughter, Myla.

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Kelly Colegrove

Tap

Kelly began her dance training at two and a half years old.  She was trained in a variety of styles but always felt an extra special devotion to tap dance. Participating in many tap festivals and other intensives taking her to Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Vancouver BC, and Stockholm, Kelly has had the honor of working with Michelle Dorrance, Sam Weber, and Sarah Reich to name a few. In 2011, Kelly became a founding member of the Alchemy Tap Project, under the direction of Josh Scribner and has been working as the assistant director since 2014. Performing with ATP, she has danced at Benaroya Hall, the Folklife Festival, the Seattle Art Museum, and the Walla Walla Dance Festival, participated in an artistic residency in Leavenworth, and has worked with Microsoft Production Studios.  Kelly is now teaching and choreographing at several studios in the greater Seattle area as well as running her own youth tap company, the Seattle Rhythm Company, which she launched in early 2019. When not dancing, you can find Kelly consuming massive amounts of coffee, reading philosophy texts, enjoying the great outdoors, or all of the above.

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Amanda Albright

Jazz, Lyrical, Acro

Amanda Albright has been dancing since she was four years old at a little studio in Marysville. It was there her love for dance grew. She then moved to a different studio to step up to a competitive level. Amanda competed for nine years in jazz, lyrical, contemporary, tap, and hip hop. During that time she received a Die Hard Dancer scholarship with an invitation to L.A. by Ray Leeper and danced in a professional contemporary group in Seattle called Aeon. After graduation Amanda created over ten routines for a trademark fitness company, started a dance program at a fitness studio, and began Bellydancing semi-professionally with the Moon Sirens Bellydance. Over all that time, she began to teach dance and has been teaching for about 8 years starting with the little ones and growing to all ages and styles. Amanda has been with PacWest for a couple of years now and am excited to continue to share my love for dance. 

When not at the dance studio Amanda is either hiking or camping in the mountains, playing with her dog Rainey, or studying to further her education in the dental field. 

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Horace Price

Hip Hop

Horace Price has been dancing since he was 8 years old. As a child he would watch music videos of Michael Jackson, Usher and Chris Brown and mimic what he saw on the screen. He would study YouTube videos and dabbled in choreography and dancing for talent shows and family events. Horace became serious with his dance studies when he became the President of the Hip Hop Club at his high school. This experience helped teach him to choreograph on groups of dancers, to create his own style within the genre and how to use leadership skills.

He has experience in teaching ages 7-18+. He has taught professionally for over two years here at PacWest and has taught several Company classes for competition since. He was honored to win the “Choreography Award” at Seattle Spotlight 2015 competition. His favorite aspect of dance is his ability to freestyle. His style consists of intricate movements involving, robotics, animations, tutting, waving, isolations, and popping. His ultimate goal is to inspire others to really go after what they’re passionate about. He wants to influence his students to take risks and keep pushing themselves to reach new levels.

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Jennifer Blair

Tiny Twos, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Twinkles

Jennifer Blair is new to PacWest. She has been dancing and performing in the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years. Jen has been working alongside Molly Pishue with our childrens dance program, where she has found her passion in teaching dance to children.

Jen began dancing at the age of 11. She has studied various forms of dance including jazz, tap, ballet, character, hip-hop, and cheer. Jen most recently danced for 2 years (2005-2007) as a SeaGal. She fulfilled her dream of dancing professionally and had the time of her life cheering on her favorite Seattle Seahawks! She was lucky enough to travel to Detroit to cheer in the Superbowl XL!

Jen spent many years performing with the McCabes Cowgirl Dance Team. She also enjoyed dancing with her church group, where she performed and helped choreograph for many shows and parades.

Jen lives in Lake Stevens with her husband Aaron and six year old son Xander.

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Kim Barth

Tiny Twos, Ballet, Tap, Jazz

Kim Barth grew up locally in Woodinville, and started dancing at age 4.  She studied tap, ballet, jazz, and lyrical. 

From ages 10-18 she competed in Northwest dance competitions and conventions like “I Love Dance” and “Dance Magic,” as well as trained under the direction of accomplished tappers like Al Gilbert.  She has been a member of “The Moving Dance Company” at Bellevue College; participated in Western Washington University Theater productions; and has taught and assisted dance instruction at both WWU and Washington State University. 

Kim now has over 8 years of teaching dance locally.  She instructs both children and adults in tap, ballet, jazz, and musical theater.  Kim currently has several dancers actively involved in productions at the 5th Avenue Theater and Village Theater.  She contributes a total of 29 years dance experience. 

Kim holds a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management and graduated Summa Cum Laude. 

Kim is also a wife, mother of two wonderful children, and enjoys spending time with her family camping, gardening, playing sports and during the day works as a Para Educator.

Lindsay Johns

Tiny Twos, Ballet, Tap, Jazz

Lindsay Johns started dancing at the age of 3 with creative ballet. She then continued dance at various studios until she found her dance home at Olympic Ballet Theater at the age of 9 and danced there until she graduated from high school. She then furthered her dance education at Cornish College of the Arts and graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance. 

She has danced professionally with Walrus Performance Productions, and danced with and choreographed for Sixth Day Dance and Intrepidus Dance. She also has enjoyed performing in a couple of musicals. 

Lindsay has also taught dance at Reflections School of Dance, Ballet Academy of Performing Arts, and Haven Dance Academy. She has taught ages 2 to adult and has taught ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and lyrical. 

She lives in Lake Stevens with her husband, Andrew, and two children, Ava and Theodore.

Photo Credit: Megan Hauk, HMMM Productions

Photo Credit: Megan Hauk, HMMM Productions

Andrea Duerr

B A L L E T

Andrea Duerr took her first ballet class when she was 4 years old, and immediately fell in love with the grace, strength and beauty of the art. She has received her training from the Royal Academy of Dance, The Moving Company, The Studio and Western Washington University. She performed leading roles in various ballets such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Coppelia and The Red Shoes. In college she was a part of Encore Dance Ensemble where she participated as a dancer and choreographer for lyrical, contemporary and musical theater routines. 

Her teaching career began almost 20 years ago. Her energetic, fun yet firm teaching style has set her apart from other instructors. She has taught all ages from the tiny two year olds through advanced adults. While her favorite genre is ballet, she also enjoys teaching jazz, lyrical, musical theater, and tap.

Andrea resides in Lake Stevens with her husband and 2 kids. They co-own Lake Stevens Brewing Company where she does the book keeping and event planning.

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Photo Credit: Megan Hauk, HMMM Productions

Photo Credit: Megan Hauk, HMMM Productions

Lisa Buettner

Hip Hop, Jazz, Turns & Leaps

Lisa Buettner received her dance training in the Seattle area focusing on jazz, hip hop, lyrical, ballet and musical theatre. She studied at Bellevue Community College and was a member of the Eastside Moving Company and Fusion Dance Company of Seattle. She has taught and judged locally and has choreographed competition jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, music theatre, and high school dance teams. Along with teaching and choreographing for Village Theatre’s Kidstage program, she also has over 5 years of experience managing local dance studios in the Mill Creek area and on the Eastside.  Her most recent ventures include earning her jazz, modern and ballet certification and is now a national certified tester to test teachers into Dance Masters of America association. Lisa is passionate about teaching and enjoys spreading the love of dance to her students. She is excited to join PacWest dance family!

Amanda Christensen

Jazz, Lyrical, Bollywood

Amanda Christensen quickly fell in love with dance at the age of 6. Amanda received her training in ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical at Gotta Dance in Redmond, where she competed regionally. She performed in numerous musicals while growing up including, “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Oklahoma.” Amanda attended Brigham Young University in Utah and received her B.S. in elementary education. During college, she found great passion for the modern/contemporary and international styles. Amanda toured with BYU’s International Folk Dance Ensemble around the world in Europe, China and Hong Kong. She performed Bollywood, Irish, American Clogging, European and Asian styles. She also toured with Clog America in France, Portugal and Spain performing our high energy American styles of dance. Amanda’s passion for dance continued as she taught dance in elementary schools in Utah and at dance studios in Utah and WA. She has choreographed solos/duets and group numbers for competitions and for the Nutcracker ballet in the Skagit area. Amanda finds much joy in helping others find their personal connection with dance and discover what they can offer this world. She is excited to join the PacWest family! 

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Moselle Campbell

Acro

Moselle Campbell is a mom of four, native to the greater Seattle area.  As a child, she was a Junior Olympic gymnast and trained at Cascade Elite in Mountlake Terrace.  As an adult, Moselle has worked with various gymnastics, cheer, and dance programs for over 15 years.  At several locations, she’s written programs and curriculum that have helped the programs be successful. She loves helping athletes safely and successfully perform tumbling and acrobatics skills.  Moselle loves being part of the PacWest family – the positive atmosphere and the family-friendly environment have made it feel, very quickly, like home.

Photo Credit: Megan Hauk, HMMM Productions

Photo Credit: Megan Hauk, HMMM Productions

Molly Studer

Tiny Twos, Ballet/Tap, Jazz/Hip Hop

Molly Studer started dance and gymnastics when she was two. She came to Pacwest in 2006 and joined the competition team in 2009. Molly has competed in Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Modern. She has also taken Acro, Pom, Irish, and Bollywood classes. Molly started being a TA for Ms. Brenna in 2013, and did that for her every Saturday. 

When Molly is not dancing, she is busy being a high school student. Homework takes up a lot of her time, as well as other school activities, and preparing for college. Molly also enjoy the outdoors,  and being with her dog Alfie.

Photo Credit: Megan Hauk, HMMM Productions

Photo Credit: Megan Hauk, HMMM Productions

Liz Barth

Tiny Twos, Ballet/Tap, Jazz/Hip Hop

Liz Barth started dancing at PacWest in 2006  when she was four years old. She joined the competition team at age eight. She has been trained in styles such as, ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, acro, modern, and have even taken classes for Bollywood and Irish. She began TAing at age 12 for Kim Barth, often on Fridays or Wednesdays. Liz is currently a Junior at Snohomish High School and spends much of her time doing homework, going to football games, and hanging out with her friends.

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Laurie Balise

Barre/Pilates

Laurie Balise is a Seattle native and has been involved in dance and the arts all her life.  She began dancing at age 3 with Dorothy and Nelle Fisher and then became a founding senior company member with Olympic Ballet Theater in Edmonds.  She attended the Pacific Regional Dance Festivals for several consecutive years and received a scholarship to attend the Craft of Choreography Conference in Geneva, NY.  She performed at numerous venues throughout the PNW and in multiple full-length Nutcracker Productions, Frederick & Nelson Santa Breakfasts, and Spring Showcases.  Her primary training is in ballet, including partnering and pointe.  She’s had experience as well in jazz, lyrical and hip-hop.  She’s uses her varied sports background, including competitive swimming, rowing, soccer, and basketball, to enhance her athleticism in dance and as a teacher of both dance and fitness.  She’s appeared in two fitness videos with Kari Anderson, including “Angles, Lines & Curves,” a Pilates/ballet floor barre inspired class format, and “Curl,” an abdominal workout. Ms. Balise has taught at various studios and gyms north of Seattle for almost 19 years.  Ms. Balise is currently on the ballet faculty at Vibe dance school and teaches ballet and Pilates inspired barre fitness stretch and strengthening classes at The Barre in Mill Creek, as well as doing contract work teaching dance for Mill Creek Parks and Recreation and Bootcamp for Run2BFit. She also teaches a stretch and strengthen class for Diverse Bootcamps Fit Club. Her other current current primary positions are as a fitness instructor for LA Fitness where she has taught every class they’ve offered for 14 years, including Pilates, Yoga, Bodyworks and Aqua Fit, as well as she subs ballet/Pilates barre and bootcamp regularly at Columbia Athletic Club in Silver Lake. Ms. Balise is a graduate of the University of Washington where she studied Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations.  She worked as the Publicist of the Seattle Symphony during the opening and Inaugural Season of Benaroya Hall, and served as an intern in the Public Relations Department at Pacific Northwest Ballet. She was on the Board of Directors for PNB’s “Backstage Pass” young professionals group during its initial season.  Ms. Balise has also previously worked as a private tutor for Kindercare, teaching phonics, early math, and music to preschoolers and school age children.  She also worked previously as the Content Coordinator for the Mill Creek Lifestyles Magazine.

Ms. Balise has two teen daughters and enjoys spending time with family, being active in adventure runs like Tough Mudder and the Big Climb, traveling, the outdoors, and volunteering for various organizations in her spare time.

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Ashley Gunter

Ballet, Tap, Jazz, West african

Colorful, energetic and full of persistence, Ashley Gunter transforms students’ “dancelife” into simply... life. At the age of 9, Ashley began her dance training in Chicago, Illinois and since then evolved from the student to teacher. She has trained in the techniques of ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, contemporary modern, hip hop, Graham, Dunham, Horton and African and has choreographed and performed in musical and Dinner Theater productions. Upon graduating from Bowling Green State University with her BS in Education, specializing in dance, Ashley has had the opportunity to train as an artist as well as an educator. Since graduating in 2011, she has studied as an apprentice in a Chicago based dance company, worked with children of all ages and skill levels and has taught at various dance studios, summer camps and after-school programs all over Chicago, Virginia and most recently, Augusta. She is looking forward to growing while here in the Pacific Northwest and is excited to be apart of PAC West family.