Baksana Dance Vocabulary Training

3 Levels
2 Certifications

Baksana Dance Vocabulary centers around a collection of dance and cymbal phrases that are performed in an improvised order. One person leads the group while the rest follow. This kind of format is often referred to as Structured Group Improvisation, such as Carolena Nerrico’s FCBD , Amy Sigil’s ITS and Rachel Brice’s Datura Style. This improvised “lead and follow” format is also seen in Cuban Salsa Rueda – which Danielle has a particular affinity for! Baksana’s overall style is a fusion of Egyptian, Turkish, and Balkan dance and music genres. We’re also inspired by groups rooted in Egyptian folkloric interpretation dance such as The Reda Troupe and Hahbi-Ru. See Danielle’s bio video below for some more info about the dance path she’s taken personally, and the formation of Baksana.

This dance and cymbal vocabulary starts at an intermediate level and moves through advanced/professional levels. For your enjoyment and success, we require a minimum of one year of consistent weekly lessons in Raqs Sharqi, and at least 6 months of experience with finger cymbals. In person lessons are great, but if there are none around you (or you want to supplement) then we highly suggest DaturaOnline, Raqs Online, or our Baksana Ensemble Patreon as a few places to get started! We look forward to guiding you on your Baksana Dance Vocabulary Journey!

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Level 1

Home Positions

Module 1
4 Home Positions
and finger cymbal patterns

Module 2
8 Home Position
Variations and finger cymbal patterns

Level 2


Module 1
Three 4 – 8 bar dance phrases and finger cymbal compositions

Module 2
Three MORE dance phrases and finger cymbal compositions

Level 3


Module 1
Free Improvisation
Frame Drum
Cymbal Composition
Vocab Improvement
Preparation for
Performing and Teaching

Performer Certification
Perform Baksana Dance Vocabulary professionally either as a soloist or with a group of other BDV certified dancers. Performance Certification includes: Mastering material in Levels 1-3, Free Improv (including with cymbals), Working with Live Music, Stage Presence, Costuming, Gig Ethics.

Teacher Certification
Teach others Baksana Dance Vocabulary in your area! Add our vocabulary to your established ensemble or start a new group! Certification includes: Details of Vocabulary Development, Class Structures, Teaching Ethics / Student Support and Lifetime access to a catalogue of practice drills.

• Identify as Black, and/or Indigenous, and/or a Person of Color
• At least one year consistent experience with playing cymbals while dancing in Raqs Sharqi or Fusion styles.
• Submit a 3 min video example (for confirmation of base skill level) to:

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BDV Training

Many things are also addressed in the video at the top of this page 😉

Is this course for beginners?
– This online training program is primarily for designed intermediate/advanced dancers who want to learn, perform, and teach Baksana’s structured improv-based vocabulary. We recommend at least one year of training in Egyptian Raqs Sharqi or Turkish Oryental styles of dance AND at least 6 months to one year of playing finger cymbals. *If you are brand new to dance and music in general, we suggest joining our Patreon for a little while, where you can gain access to MANY tutorials for starting at just $10/month!

How long is the training?
– Each module runs approximately 90 days. You will have access to all the training material for the full 90 days to allow for a variety of scheduling and dancer experience levels. Performance Certification is 6 months.

How long are the individual lessons?
– Each module contains a variety of lesson types. Pre-recorded dance lessons are between 25-45 mins long. Cymbal segments are 5-10 mins. Live zoom sessions will be 30-60 mins.

Will there be homework/testing?
– YEPPERS! Students will submit multiple video progress reports along the way, a few written assignments, and then complete a written and video final exam for each module. Expect to film yourself weekly for assignments.

Can I complete the module and test quicker than 90 days?
– Yes. Once you have access to the material you can complete the course ahead of time… you just may miss out on some of the live events. Contact us directly to schedule something that works best for you if you want this option.

What if I need more time?
– For an additional fee you can renew your access to the material beyond 90 days. This will include another one-on-one virtual meeting and one re-test submission. Contact us directly for more information about this.

What if I need more help during the training?
– Contact us to set up a private lesson (for additional cost) and check out some of our other supplemental classes on Patreon and Thinkific platforms.

What if I don’t have any plans to perform or teach?
– That’s totally fine! You do not need to register or test for a performer or teacher certification to take this program, but you do need to pass the final exams in each module for sake of proficiency before progressing through the levels. On the flip-side, there will be additional workshops for Baksana certified Performers and Teachers to continue their studies beyond the program… so you may want to attend those for fun updates to the material and therefore test for your certification even if you do not wish to perform.

What if I register but then realize I cannot do the training?
– We do not offer refunds for our Baksana Dance Vocabulary online programs. You can retain the credit for a future training. If necessary, you can sell your spot to another person BEFORE the first day of the course, but you will be fully responsible for that transaction – please contact us immediately if this is something you plan to do.

Where did Baksana Dance Vocabulary come from?
-Here is Danielle’s Bio video for some more information on the influences of her creation of Baksana…