Our Seedlings Team
Skagit Seedlings has a wide variety of quality teachers that come from diverse artistic, cultural and educational backgrounds. Please enjoy stepping into our community and learning who we are!
Amy Christianson – Founder, Director, and Dance Instructor
Amy Christianson has an extensive background in the arts and education reaching over 20+ years. Amy had the unique experience of being educated in a liberal arts “un-schooling” environment. Her passion for the arts began with her formal dance training in ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary at the age of 6 and grew to encompass community musical theater, teaching dance & writing poetry. During high school, she competed in National History Day competitions, which led her to a degree in History and minors in Dance and Art History from Case Western Reserve University. Joining her love of the arts together with teaching and entrepreneurship became an easy career answer after college. Amy never tires of seeing the spark of determination and love of learning ignite in her students.
Andrew Christianson – Voice, Guitar, and Piano Instructor
Andrew Christianson is a voice, guitar, and piano instructor currently living in Bellingham, Washington. He has had the good fortune of learning from exceptional individuals at the Eastman School of Music, the BUTI Tanglewood Institute, and Western Washington University Music School where I received my degree in Vocal Performance. Some of his favorite roles he’s had the privilege of playing include Fred Graham in Kiss Me Kate, Carl Magnus in A Little Night Music, Guglielmo in Cosi Fan Tutte and Dr. Neville Craven in The Secret Garden. A huge part of his teaching practices revolves around healthy singing and the bel canto technique (which is a fancy way of saying Beautiful singing!). This only means that whatever type of music you are passionate about singing you will be able to do it with efficiency without sacrificing the integrity of your instrument. He believes that we should never stop becoming more than what we are now, which is why he thinks music and the arts are such an incredible investment. He believes, “You can study the arts for a lifetime and no matter how challenging it is, the fulfillment that you’ll feel will never stop growing. I believe there is no wrong age or time to start, and the most important part is just to begin, and once you do, DON’T Stop. It is my privilege to teach you and help you along on your journey of music wherever it may take you. “
Olivia Jollimore – Piano, Violin, and Cello Instructor
At the age of three, I self-taught myself the piano. I would wake up at six almost every morning just to play it. Because of my growing love for music, my parents enrolled me in lessons at the age of 5. I continued lessons until I was 18. During that period of time, I participated in various recitals, solo and ensembles, and even a state competition in the tenth grade.
In the eighth grade, I started to play the cello. Originally starting on the violin, I realized after a few years I wanted a different sound. I chose the cello for its deep, dramatic, and emotional tone. My teacher gave me two weeks to learn it and pick up with the rest of the class. I did it in a little over a week. From there, I started playing the cello for my church’s worship team. I continually qualified for honor orchestra, got to play with the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra my senior year, as well as play at the Washington State Art Competition that same year.
At the age of 19, I began to teach both. I was a little nervous starting out, but after having one consistent student, I began improving my teaching habits and eventually opened my own studio, Olivia’s Lesson Studio, in Whatcom County.
Pat Doran began Tap lessons at the age of four through the Lorrie Fraley-Wilson school of dance located in Twisp, WA. He took lessons and substituted classes there through high-school until he moved to Bellingham where he obtained his BA in Music degree from Western Washington University. Pat currently performs Tap Dance and plays Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute, Banjo, Harmonica and Sings in two Bellingham based bands: The Copacetics and YOGOMAN.
Tempeste Langille began her training at the age of 12 at the Nancy Whyte School of Ballet, and later trained with Northwest Ballet Academy studying classical ballet, variations, partnering, modern, lyrical, jazz, character, and even men’s classes. She attended multiple summer intensives with Olympic Ballet Theater, Northwest Ballet Theater, and the Glenda Brown Choreography Project.
She was introduced to ballroom at 16, and finds its element of partner dancing to be one of the most challenging and rewarding dance genres. She trained with multiple coaches in ballroom at U&Me Dance, including Grand Master and Master dance instructors Mary Simler Evans and Nathan Simler. Tempeste competed at the 2009 and 2010 Seattle Starball ballroom competitions in both Professional/Amateur and Amateur/Amateur partnerships. Additionally, today Tempeste is pursuing her National DVIDA ballroom certification as a full instructor in American Rhythm and American Smooth technique. She is thrilled to continue sharing her love of dance with Skagit Seedlings students for the 2017/2018 season!
Ms. Stormie Reece is a 6th Degree Black Belt instructor with over 30 years training. She has taught at various locations in the Pacific northwest. Most recently she taught for 12 years at the Skagit Valley Learning Center to homeschoolers ages 5-18yrs with as many as 30 students in a class. Ms. Stormie is known for making her classes exciting, fun, rewarding and motivating for each individual child as they gain life changing skills.
Amanda McLaurin grew up sewing and crafting with her mother, an avid quilter. In college she focused on art, studying Commercial Photography at Portfolio Center in Atlanta, GA and exploring fiber arts including knitting, crochet and embroidery. Her teaching experience began when she and her husband moved to Semarang, Indonesia where she took a position at Bina Bangsa International School teaching Arts & Crafts, English and Photography to students ages 3-17. During their time in Indonesia, the couple paired Amanda’s love of textiles and her husband’s background in import/export to start their company, Raya Exchange Indonesian Imports. Now Amanda gets to sew professionally, producing a variety of home goods using handwoven Indonesian textiles. Amanda looks forward to inspiring a new generation of sewers and crafters at Skagit Seedlings.