Any one own a Perception Dancer ?

Thank you
I have learned a lot about the Dancer.I am going to shop around a bit.

Do not discount the fact that
if it hasn’t broken by now, its about to. The old plastic does have a shelf life.

Make sure you have a skirt to fit
I think buying an “old-school” kayak is a reasonable way to start out in whitewater. You can generally find one cheap, they are faster than modern short boats, and they are easier to roll. For a small initial investment you can get your feet wet, so to speak, and make sure you really want to get involved in whitewater before you commit to a new boat. If you do buy an older boat be sure you are comfortable getting out of it (the older designs had smaller cockpits) and make sure you can find a skirt that fits the boat. Some cockpits are going to be too small to get a good seal with any currently manufactured skirt. The issue of plastic degredation has been covered. Make sure the boat has not been exposed to UV light for prolonged periods of time.

Some old designs I particularly like are the Dagger Crossfire, Dagger AQII, Dagger RPM, Perception Pirohuette (or Pirouette S or SuperSport depending on your size), Perception Overflow (or Overflow X), Prijon T-Canyon, and the classic Noah Jetti (let me know if you find one).

Old School Boats
The old school boats give a smoother ride while river running. One of the guys in our club wanted to try my barge(T-Canyon) while I paddled his play boat. I parked it on a play hole and it like to have beat me to death. I made him give my barge back.

Wouldn’t hesitate
to paddle a T- Canyon. If all I had offered was a Dancer, I’d go mountain bikin.

Here’s my dancer


Got it during the olympics in 96 at the ww course.

Dancers are great boats to learn in. Very forgiving. So are Corsicas and Pirouettes. They’re also a lot of fun in the surf.

Sorry Phil. Dancers are awful.
Corsicas are antiquated but acceptable. I paddled a Pirouette, and it is one of the few old school boats worth discussing for modern use.

Dancer SUCK
Unless they are for entertainment.

Avoid Perception Dancer - YUCK.


All very interesting. I used to paddle in late 80s with a dancer. I loved it but no experience of many other boats. I loved it. Did me for a lot of iv and some v falls.

I’m looking to get a good budget solid kayak of similar ilk. Agree worry about quality of plastic and more importantly how much is left! I was worried even back then!

Any advice on a good budget solid boat would be appreciated.


Here you go!

Corran’s been working on the new Dancer for a while. I haven’t paddled one, but it looks like an awesome river runner.

I’m a canoe paddler, but I’ve owned two Dancers. Guess I should be ashamed…
The first I got because it was so cheap and I wanted to learn a little about kayaking since it seems to be the way everyone is going these days. And, like GuideBoatGuy, I’d seen ChuckIL burn up rivers with it. CasitaAnita also. I learned to roll in it, but it was just too small and confining for me. It consistently gave me leg cramps in under two hours. I passed it on to a youngster who might get some use out of it.

Then I found another one, cheap also, in good condition. I got it for my girlfriend’s grandson hoping that it would a) get him away from those damned video games and, b) get him out on the water with us without being tied into a canoe with the old fogies. The idea was for mostly flatwater use with the possibility of moving into Cl I & mild II before graduating to something better. And the youngsters all seem to be attracted to kayaks - Of course I always hope they’ll outgrow them eventually, but if not, that’s OK too. The only other practical alternative I could see and afford was some sort of rec kayak - an idea I rebelled against.

I’ve no doubt there are better, more modern, whitewater kayaks and many better flatwater kayaks - but an old Dancer seemed like a decent affordable compromise for a beginner. I’m disappointed to see I was so wrong… we live, we learn. :upside_down_face:

It seemed to me a bit like a parallel to a Grumman - not the best for anything, but proven serviceable and versatile. I still think they may have their place as long as the plastic holds up. Perhaps even for the OP, but it depends on expectations, pocketbook, projected usage, and available alternatives.

as somebody who still has a mirage I agree that there are much better boats to get than an old dancer to learn to paddle ww: the smaller more narrow cockpit decreases safety, the lack of a rachetting backband means it is harder to maintain a good paddling posture, and the seat itself is hard on your posterior. Newer designs are much easier to surf (planing hulls) and generally have more rocker so you don’t have to cock the boat as much to initiate turns. For a ww boat, the dancer carries speed and can hold a line. I miss seeing a pretty pink dancer getting endered. Interesting they made it in pink, since it was a phallic male boat, long and pointed, not curvey like more current ww designs (which are all female in form). Of course if the price is right and you’re willing to live with the shortcomings it might work. Make sure you get it with a skirt- because a new skirt could cost and be worth as much as the boat. The skirt will not fit on newer designs. As far as the plastic getting old- you get oil canning under the seat, no big deal, and most of the holes crop up toward the ends- So if you wear a hole/crack in each end, the boat becomes self bailing. you pull it up on slanted rocks and presto it drains regardless of which end is up… and then there is the lack of a drain plug another really good reason to get a newer boat…Modern ww kayaks are way more user friendly (ergonomic).

Dancers are old, like everyone has said and the plastic does seem to crack very easily especially in the area under the seat. If you are thinking of buying one, I would check it out very carefully.
Having owned a few over the years, I would look at something newer, especially if you want something to paddle on flatwater as well as moving water.