PROFESSIONAL PROGRAM
GRADUATES

Celebrating IBA's Incredible Artists

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Manami Kawai

Professional Division
Graduate

Although still tentative, my current plan for the next four years will be to attend the University of Utah as a ballet BFA major, as a recipient of the Alice Walton Call Scholarship from the School of Dance and the Undergraduate Exchange Scholarship from the University. Stepping into anything unfamiliar, in my case, a new environment is nerve-wracking but also extremely enticing, and I’m filled with gratitude for every single opportunity and experience I have been given here that has prepared me for this big change in my life. I want to express my greatest, biggest thank you to the entire faculty and community at IBA and especially Ms. Vera for all of your time, love, and care since I started at the academy over 10 years ago. Although bittersweet, I feel well prepared for this next chapter in my life. I want to give one last big thank you to my friends and family for your continuous support and love, they are the best and I could not have done any of this without them!

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Elena Sussex

Pre-Professional Division Graduate

I have been dancing at IBA for three years now. I started at IBA my sophomore year in the professional division. It was a big change and quite a challenge at first, but I was welcomed into the studio immediately and was able to get support and advice from the other girls. The environment at IBA has always been so loving and supportive, which is exactly what many of us needed. The amount of precious memories I have from being at IBA is uncountable. I want to express my immense gratitude and say thanks to the amazing faculty for teaching me, mentoring me, and helping me become the person and dancer I am today. This coming year I will be moving to New York to continue dancing with Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre in their Three-year Certificate Program, as well as go to Community College. I plan to keep training and have very exciting performing opportunities with Ailey. IBA holds a huge place in my heart, and I am excited to take everything I have learned with me to New York. 

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Grace Cooney

Pre-Professional Division Graduate

Just before high school, I joined IBA’s summer intensive program. I soon appreciated the academy’s talented staff, dedicated dancers, and the depth and breadth of its programs. That fall, I joined the academy and started participating in IBA’s beautiful performances. I fell in love with the entire experience: the rehearsals, the costumes, the sets, the time backstage with other dancers, and the chance to perform in front of a live audience. While at IBA, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to St. Petersburg and perform in the Dance Open Festival. I loved being part of such a loving and supportive community. I will forever be grateful for being part of the IBA family. I am attending UC Berkeley in the fall, where I plan to study neurobiology and the arts, including more dance. Thank you IBA for the experiences, the friendships, and the opportunity to be part of something bigger than myself.