The Staff


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 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 newest venture is becoming Owner + Artistic Director of Pacific West Performing Arts (PacWestDance.com), serving two locations in both Snohomish & Lake Stevens.  He is VERY excited to be going on this new part of his Dance Journey!  He 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. 
 

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 once again be traveling to Santa Monica to perform at Mix Match Festival, doing various pieces choreographed by Xaviera Vandermay.  He's gotten work with artists Lauren Edson, Eva Stone and he has many projects coming down the line!  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 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 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.  

You can also find Sydney at Fremont Abbey as a House Manager. 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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Katie Jenkins

Administrative Assistant

Katie began dancing at Pacwest in 2013, and graduated from the PacWest Performing Company in 2015. Her two younger sisters are both active members of the Pacwest Performing Company. Katie began working as an administrative assistant shortly before graduating from Lake Stevens High School in June of 2015. Katie is very excited to be able to continue her love for dance from behind the scenes. 

While not at the studio, you can find Katie at her home in Bellingham spending time with her two dogs. 

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Lisa Buettner

Administrative Assistant/Instructor

Lisa 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


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Kelly Charlton

Jazz

Kelly 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 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 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 grew up taking classes at Dance Time in Kirkland and was a member of the competition team there for 8 years. Tap has always been her favorite style of dance, taking her to New York, Chicago, and Vancouver BC to take classes, audition, and perform.

She has had the honor of learning from Michelle Dorrance, Chloe Arnold, Derick Grant, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Sarah Reich, Heather Cornell, and Sam Weber to name a few. Currently, Kelly is performing as a member of the Alchemy Tap Project under the direction of Josh Scribner, while also finishing up her last year at Seattle Pacific University, pursuing degrees in Philosophy and Sociology.

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Amanda Albright

Jazz, Lyrical, Acro

Amanda 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 I am 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, Tap

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 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 and Ballet Academy of Performing Arts. 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 her daughter, Ava.

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Danielle Golden

Lyrical, Acro, Turns & Leaps

Danielle began dancing when she was just three years old. For fifteen years she studied dance under the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), and Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD). Taking annual examinations in ballet, modern, and tap. Danielle received honors and highly commended in all examinations over the years. Danielle has also studied jazz, lyrical, and contemporary styles outside the RAD and ISTD curriculum.

While at British Dancing Academy, Danielle performed soloist lead roles in The Little Princess, Peter Pan, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Little Mermaid. After graduating high school, Danielle continued her dance education at the University of Washington where she received her BA in the Creative Studies of Dance, spring of 2015. While attending the university, Danielle became a member of the Husky Dance Team, performing jazz and hip-hop routines at sporting games and events around the campus. Danielle also participated in the dance concerts and performances put on by the dance program company each quarter at the University. While studying in the UW dance program, she also had the opportunity in taking master classes taught by Ann Green Gilbert. Danielle was also able to teach master classes in ballet, jazz, and lyrical in her spare time.

Since graduating, Danielle has taught at various studios, teaching all ages and styles, doing what she absolutely loves. She is very excited to be part of the team at Pacific West Performing Arts, and to share her love and passion for dance with her students.

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Lisa Buettner

Hip Hop, Jazz, Turns & Leaps

Lisa 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 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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Molly Studer

Tiny Twos, Ballet/Tap, Jazz/Hip Hop

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

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

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Liz Barth

Tiny Twos, Ballet/Tap, Jazz/Hip Hop

Liz 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.