Belladonna is renowned for her groundbreaking and powerful approach to sword dancing. Beyond her dancing training, her experience in Medieval reenacting and years of research, practice, and performance, have led her to develop a unique system of sword work, unlike any other.Due to the popularity of this approach and her love of dancing with a sword, she has created a sword training and certification program to help dancers who are inspired by her work, take their sword-wielding to the next level.

Imagine an entire weekend of sword work! All swords, all of the time!! And every intensive weekend includes a Sea of Swords hafla! The only bellydance show in the world (thus far) to feature ALL sword work! You won’t hear it here… “we already have a sword dancer”… we are ALL sword dancers! Each dancer has their own expression, story to tell and unique dance to share. We want to share in our sword sisterhood (and brother hood) and celebrate your love of dancing with a sword!

• Level 1- Apprentice
• Level 2- Technician
• Level 3- Warrior
• Level 4- Specialist
• Level 5- The Artist
• Level 6- Master

*All dancers being at Level 1 and proceed consecutively tough the program.
*Completion of the previous level is required in order to take any level higher than level 1.
*Certification of the previous level is required in order to certify in any other level.

* With certification you receive:
-An official Bohemian Blade Balancing certificate.
-A specialty tank top with your level of achievement on the back
(you can’t purchase these… you must earn them!)
– A listing on Belladonna’s website.
– Discounts on future Blade Balancing workshops, merchandise and private online coaching.

Levels 1 - 6

Descriptions & Registration

LEVEL 1 - Apprentice

The Apprentice: Level 1

  • The history of Sword dancing
  • Why a sword?
  • Choosing the right sword, care, cleaning, storage and transporting
  • Strength training and conditioning for sword work
  • Intro to Belladonna’s approach to Blade Balancing
  • Intro to Belladonna’s signature vocabulary of moves (the technique & philosophy)
  • Held moves
  • Balanced moves and traveling drills
  • Intro to transitions
  • Supporting details and putting it all together

LEVEL 2 - Technician

The Technician: Level 2

  • Journey assessment
  • Strength training and conditioning
  • Working with your non-dominant hand
  • Intro to floor work
  • Intro to body balancing and drills
  • Balanced drill combinations
  • Level changes and transitions

LEVEL 3 - Warrior

The Warrior: Level 3

  • Journey assessment and program updates
  • Strength training and conditioning
  • Grips and grip changes
  • Intermediate Held moves
  • Intermediate Balanced drills
  • Comprehensive intro to BSS (Boho Sword Style) Held vocabulary
  • Comprehensive into to BSS Balanced vocabulary
  • All participants must participate in the Sea of Swords Hafla

LEVEL 4 - The Specialist

The Specialist: Level 4

  • Dancers must prepare a piece for the weekend. (improvisation preferred)
  • Discussion - Ritual, purpose and muscle memmory
  • Introduction to Bohemian kata & Atlantian Sword kata
  • Advanced combinations & floor work
  • Emphasis on execution, improvisation and group improvisation

LEVEL 5 - The Artist

The Artist: Level 5

  • Intermediate & Advanced Technique, Tips and Tricks
  • Coaching and group discussion
  • Strength training and conditioning
  • Partnering & group moves
  • Developing your own sequences and transitions that work within the Bohemian Blade Style.
  • Participants in the Artist program are required to learn a sword choreography by Belladonna as part of their test.

LEVEL 6 - The Master

The Master: Level 6

  • Advanced Technique, Tips & Tricks
  • The weekend’s focus will be on polishing & precision.
  • Now that you have been introduced to concepts, moves, combinations, floor work, grip changes, an extensive held and balanced vocabulary, group improv and choreography… it is time for us to make it all as sharp and precise as possible!
  • Level 6 participants will have the opportunity to present the piece that we build during the intensive.
  • Participants will be required to prepare 2 combinations (1-3 counts of 8) with a clear cue. These combinations must keep in mind planes, transitions and tricks.