Now, this isn’t a ski that just lets you casually pivot it through bumps and trees from a really upright, centered stance. Rather, it feels best when actively driving its tips into troughs and then unweighting its tails to get them over each mound. But if I did that, the Dancer 2’s low swing weight and energetic flex pattern let me get into a rhythm, and I soon found myself trying to see just how quickly I could repeat those steps to bash my way through tight bump lines, as well as seeking out gaps to double up.
So while the Dancer 2 is not a loose, forgiving, easy-going ski in tight spots, it is one of my favorite directional skis for trying to ski this terrain very aggressively and dynamically. It will punish backseat skiing, but since there’s not a lot of weight at its tips, recovering from the occasional mistake is easier than doing so on an equally stiff but heavier ski, yet the Dancer 2 still offers the support and precision of some of those stiff, heavier alternatives. And even if you’re not trying to catch air off every mogul you see, the Dancer 2 can still make for a really fun bump / tree ski, provided that you’re also not frequently trying to steer it from the tails. And FWIW, if you like the sound of all that but prefer a looser, more center-mounted ski, you should definitely check out the Faction Mana series (formerly known as the Candide series), which we’ll say more about in the future.
Dylan: Luke hit all the main points here. My biggest takeaway from this ski in bumps and tight terrain is that it requires a pretty directional stance and style, and it doesn’t like to be slarved around. Rather, like Luke, I found that I was getting the most out of the ski by skiing dynamically, driving the Dancer 2’s shovels and picking up its tails after each turn, swinging them around into the next. I definitely didn’t find this ski as demanding as last year’s 188 cm Dictator 3 in tight terrain, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the Dancer 2 in bumps and trees.
Firm Chop / Crud
Luke: The firmer and rougher the snow, the less comfortable the Dancer 2 feels. That’s to be expected, since it’s the case for most skis, but this is where heavier alternatives definitely outshine the somewhat light Dancer 2.
Now, the Dancer 2’s suspension / damping is good enough where I’m comfortable taking it out in pretty much all conditions apart from brutal, refrozen snow. In those truly awful conditions, I’d prefer something that’s several hundred grams heavier if I want to ski off piste. The Dancer 2 can feel pretty harsh and jarring in refrozen, bumpy, icy snow.
In anything softer than that, I can still have a good time in this ski. It still doesn’t match the bump-asborbing capabilities of much heavier skis, but it’s damp enough so that I can still enjoy skiing pretty firm snow, especially if I’m more focused on making quick, dynamic turns than making big, fast turns through everything.