Career & College Guidance Program

Guidance Program Members (grades 8-12) receive the following benefits:


  • Individual consultations for students and/or parents with a guidance counselor experienced in counseling students in the fine arts, who can help with course selection in preparation for a dance career or college degree in dance.  Appointments are available upon request.  Please email


  • Official transcript of eligible dance and physical ed. courses taken at IBA available upon request.


  • Letter grades for fine arts credits earned based on feedback from IBA faculty.


  • Help with learning about college dance programs in South Carolina and throughout the US.


  • Frequent information updates regarding auditions, scholarship opportunities, and ways to get the most from your dance training.


  • Information and updates regarding summer programs, master classes, and Youth America Grand Prix participation.


  • Help with dance resumes and college applications upon request 


  • Guidance on how to be a responsible and determined dancer.


  • Recognition of special achievements.  


  • Students also have the opportunity to earn membership in the National Honor Society for Dance Arts, sponsored by the National Dance Education Organization. (An additional fee may be charged to defray cost of annual dues, certificates, pins, and tassels.) ​

What is the Career & College Guidance Program?

  • Have you felt lost or uninformed about the options to pursue an artistic career in a professional company or college?

  • Have you wondered if you are on the right academic path in high school to adequately support your artistic goals?

  • Would you like to be able to earn official credit for your hard work and many hours in the studio?

  • Do you feel you need guidance wading through new waters in regards to Summer Intensive auditions, College programs, or simply just balancing your dance commitments with life and school?

  • Are you a parent who is wondering how to support your dancer, but feel uninformed yourself?


The IBA Career & College Guidance Program may be just what you need!


IBA’s Guidance Program seeks to fill a need for official documentation, provide much-needed counseling and information to supplement our students’ academic and career goals, and provide community support for parents and students to enhance IBA's high-caliber training.


Program Cost:

$50 per year for 2018-2019

Meet the Guidance Program Director:

Mrs. Emily Paluszak, M.Ed.

Emily has over 25 years of teaching experience and has worked in a variety of school settings, including private and public schools, independent-study schools, and homeschool co-ops.  She received a Master of Education degree from Converse College, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/ Accounting from the University of South Carolina in Columbia. She is the owner of Seat of Wisdom Educational Services, which, since 2005, has contracted with an international, accredited, classical independent study school with over 5,000 students in grades K-12 in 50 states and six continents, serving as a guidance counselor, middle and high school teacher, and trainer/ supervisor of faculty. Some of her school clients have been offered contracts with professional ballet companies, including Nashville Ballet and North Pointe Ballet (Cleveland), and others have been accepted to renown summer intensives such as Houston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Bolshoi (NYC), Ellison Ballet,  Joffrey Chicago, Ballet West, and ABT, as well as to college dance programs including Texas Christian University, University of Utah, and University of Alabama. One of her former students placed in the Top 12 at the YAGP finals in NYC in 2018, and several now teach ballet and other forms of dance. Emily has 21 years of experience homeschooling her six children, three of whom now have careers in the arts, and one is a senior voice student at the Fine Arts Center.  Her son, Gabriel, is a professional dancer with International Ballet and ballet and contemporary instructor with IBA, and her daughter, Emma, is a dancer with IB’s Senior Company. Emily founded the IBA Career  & College Guidance Program in 2014, and she runs IBA and IB’s social media accounts.

Disclaimer: The IBA Career & College Guidance Program is a service we are offering our students to help them in their dance-related pursuits.  However, neither IBA nor Emily Paluszak is responsible for any result from applications, auditions, or interviews, and participation in this program implies no guarantee whatsoever of acceptance to any college, dance program, or company, nor do we make any promise of any outcome whatsoever.  College and dance schools and companies change their requirements frequently, and we cannot possibly be aware of all of these changes.  Students and their parents are ultimately responsible for researching college and dance program admission requirements, as well audition and scholarship requirements.  The student and parent must agree that the student will attend all scheduled meetings and individual consultations or pay a missed appointment fee. (See application.) Program fees do not cover extra services such as typing resumes, travel to performances, colleges or auditions, or guidance counseling beyond the basic scope of the program.  Students must be enrolled in at least one ballet class (Levels II-V or adult), and their IBA financial account must be current in order to be eligible for the program.   Annual dues for NHSDA not included.  All fees are nonrefundable.​​