Dancer Leveling Guide
Guide Info
Last Updated: 28 Jun, 2024
Patch Applicable: 7.0

Leveling Guide for Dancer (DNC)

Written by: Ringabel Dim

This information on this page is to give helpful tips to help you as you are leveling DNC. This guide will focus on what skills and abilities are available to you for each level range and will indicate at which levels do you get actions that affect your rotation and how they affect it.


Unlocking Dancer

You can unlock DNC as long as you have access to the Shadowbringers Expansion for FFXIV and at least one Disciple of War or Magic job at level 60. DNC is unlocked from the quest “Shall We Dance” in Limsa Lominsa given by the NPC “Eager Lominsan” at (x:9.8.y:12.1) just south of the main Aetheryte.


First of all, the gear you get from the quest unlocking DNC is not the best gear you can wear on DNC at level 60 that is accessible. Specifically, the weapon (ilvl 255 High Steel Chakrams) is of normal quality from the quest instead of high quality making it significantly worse due to missing weapon damage. You can buy an entire ilvl 270 gearset for level 60 DNC for 3775 tomestones of poetics total. If upgrading pieces incrementally, the simplest strategy is to upgrade the Weapon first and then your lowest ilvl gear pieces next.

The best daily roulettes for obtaining poetics are Normal Raid, Alliance Raid, Main Scenario, and High-level Dungeons.

At levels 70, 80, and 90, you’ll be able to purchase gearsets for those levels using poetics as well (ilvl 400 for level 70, ilvl 530 for level 80, ilvl 660 for level 90). Note: You can use the Azeyma’s Earrings from Dawntrail Pre-Order if you have them for up to level 90 which also give a nice 30% exp bonus.

These Poetics gearsets are available in:
Level 60 - Idyllshire or Ishgard
Level 70 - Rhalgar’s Reach or Kugane
Level 80 - Eulmore or The Crystarium
Level 90 - Radz-at-Han or Old Sharlayan

All of these gearsets do a good job helping you through each set of 10 levels. You can get slightly better gear pieces as you level through the leveling dungeons and craftable gear pieces (Note: It is strongly recommended to use high quality crafted pieces as opposed to normal quality crafted pieces due to normal quality pieces missing significant amounts of stats).

For some content, your gear level will not matter (such as Deep Dungeon - Heaven on High, PVP, or Bozja). However, if doing dungeons, duty roulettes, or open world content (such as FATEs and Beast Tribe quests) to level, it will be important to keep your gear relatively up to date for ease of completing the content as well as for considerations for the other members of the duties you may be queueing for.

Melding: If you can afford to, putting melds on your gear is a good way to boost your dps while leveling. Full melds vs. no melds can be the difference of approximately 4-5% dps. When melding, you’ll generally want to meld the highest rank materia available for that ilvl and for DNC prioritize Crit > DET > DH melds while leveling (i.e. if that stat would cap if you were to meld the highest materia rank, go to the next best stat). You will never want to meld skill speed for DNC while leveling since it is the stat that gives us the least gains to our damage (for more info see the advanced guide).

Know your Role

As a physical ranged DPS, your job is to do as much damage as possible while staying alive and not doing anything that would make your other party members do more work. Physical Ranged DPS are very mobile which means they can keep full uptime hitting your enemies while not losing any damage from moving around to dodge mechanics (however, you should make sure you stay in range of your healers so you don’t miss any heals they may be casting).

Physical Range DPS Limit Break is a line shaped area of effect (AoE) action that shoots out in front of you towards your specified target. It will hit all enemies who are in that AoE, making it very good for dungeon trash pulls with multiple enemies. If there is no melee in your party, it can also be used on Boss fights to do a small amount of damage (although not as strong as a melee limit break on single target). Additionally, DNC has some utility actions as part of their kit, including Physical Ranged DPS role actions:

Additionally, DNC has some utility actions as part of their kit, including Physical Ranged DPS role actions:

Physical Ranged Role Actions

  • Peloton - Increases movement speed outside of combat for self and nearby party members, lasts 30 seconds, 5 sec cooldown, basically use this outside of combat in dungeons to help everyone move faster through the dungeon, can have 100% uptime while out of combat.
  • Second Wind - 120 sec cooldown small self-heal, can potentially save your life if you find yourself somewhat low in health before a mechanic.
  • Arm’s Length - 120 sec cooldown, 6 seconds of knockback immunity to self (mostly for niche boss fights that have knockback mechanics you can prevent).
  • Head Graze - 40 sec cooldown interrupt, can interrupt certain enemies’ mechanics, most dungeons don’t have a mechanic that can be interrupted though.
  • Leg Graze - Applies heavy to target. Only really serves a purpose in solo content.
  • Foot Graze - Binds target. Only really serves a purpose in solo content.

DNC Specific Utility Actions

  • Curing Waltz - Small AoE heal on yourself and your dance partner. AoE heal effect stacks (i.e. if you stand on top of your dance partner and use Curing Waltz, everyone in that small AoE will receive 2 heals), 60 sec cooldown, useful for keeping yourself alive, can even be used to give the tank a small little heal if it is safe to stand on top of them.
  • Shield Samba - 10% damage reduction (15% with level 98 trait) for self and all nearby allies for 15 sec. 120 sec cooldown (90 sec cooldown with the level 88 trait). For leveling content, it’s free and helpful mitigation you can provide for the party or even just the tank on large dungeon pulls. This skill does not stack with Bard’s Troubador or Machinist’s Tactician (these actions have the same damage reduction as Shield Samba), and they will overwrite each other.
  • Improvisation (Level 80) - 120 sec cooldown, channeled ability, small AoE regen heal, can use Improvised Finish which ends Improvisation and grants a shield to self and nearby party members. Generally not worth it to continue channeling unless during a downtime mechanic in a fight but can flash it (i.e. double weaving Improvisation into Improvised Finish) to grant the party a quick small aoe regen and shield.

General Dancer Rotation for all Levels

A couple of key points while playing DNC at all levels:

  • For Level 60 and above content, you can use Closed Position on a party member to designate them as your Dance Partner. This will share certain buffs that you give yourself to them as well. In most dungeons, you will want to give the Closed Position buff to the other DPS player at the beginning of the dungeon so they will get your damage buff from Standard Finish (Note: If the other DPS is also a DNC, you will be able to Dance Partner each other and benefit from the others’ Standard Finish Buff).
  • Keep Standard Step off cooldown as much as possible. Not only does this ability grant you and your Dance Partner a damage buff, it is one of your hardest hitting abilities. It is a 30 second cooldown and can be executed by initiating Standard Step and then pressing the 2 dance steps in the order they appear and then completing the dance sequence with Standard Finish. Altogether this dance takes 5 seconds to complete. During downtime in dungeons, you can prepare Standard Step outside of combat and then use it within 15 seconds of initiating the Standard Step sequence. This will help increase your damage by doing the dance steps outside of combat (which don’t do any damage).
  • For single target situations, use Cascade → Fountain as your main combo weapon skills. For situations where there are two or more targets, use Windmill → Bladeshower as your main combo weapon skills (which are both five yalm radius AoEs around you). In AoE situations, it tends to be a loss to use Standard Finish when there are 7 or more targets (except to refresh the Standard Finish buff).
  • Cascade or Windmill have a 50% chance of granting you a “Silken Symmetry” proc, which you can use on Reverse Cascade (for single target situations) or Rising Windmill (for situations with 2 or more targets).
  • Fountain or Bladeshower have a 50% chance of granting you a “Silken Flow” proc, which you can use on Fountainfall (for single target situations) or Bloodshower (for situations with 2 or more targets).
  • Use your proc weaponskills before using the base combo weaponskills that have a chance of generating that proc (otherwise you risk losing the opportunity of that combo weaponskill generating the proc). For example, if you have a “Silken Symmetry” proc, you should use Reverse Cascade before using Cascade. The majority of the time, your rotation should follow a “1-3-2-4” order (Cascade → (Reverse Cascade if proc’ed) → Fountain → (Fountainfall if proc’ed) → repeat…) where possible to avoid overwriting procs.
  • Your proc weaponskills have a 50% chance of generating a Fourfold Feather which allows you to use either Fan Dance (which should only be used on single target situations) or Fan Dance II (which should only be used when there are 2 or more targets that can get hit in a 5y radius around you). These are both abilities that can be weaved on the oGCD (meaning you can use Fan Dance while waiting for your GCD to come back to use your next weaponskill).
  • If you have four Fourfold Feathers (the maximum amount you can carry) you will want to use a feather before you use a proc weaponskill otherwise you lose the potential of having gained a feather from that weaponskill.

Dancer Rotations

Levels 1-59

DNC unlocks at level 60. However, there are times where you may queue for content that syncs your level to below level 60. If that is the case, the general rotation might change based off of what actions you have available (for example Fan Dance II is only available at level 50 or above, so if you are below level 50, you’d use your Fourfold Fans on just the single target Fan Dance since that is all that is available to you).

Level 60

At level 60, DNC gains “Closed Position” which grants the “Dance Partner” buff to a party member of your choice. In a dungeon setting, you will generally want to put the buff on the other DPS player, even if they are also a DNC (the 5% damage buff from Standard Finish will stack in this way). For 8 player encounters, you’ll want to consider “Dance Partner Priority” which changes for different level changes because of job balance. A rough Dance Partner priority at all levels is: Melee DPS > Caster DPS > Physical Range DPS, however skill and gear play a huge factor in who would make for the best Dance Partner.

For more information regarding Closed Position and Dance Partner, you can check out the “Dance Partner section” of the Advanced Guide.

Level 62

At level 62, DNC gains “Devilment” which grants 20% crit rate and 20% direct hit rate for 20 seconds for yourself and your Dance Partner (120 sec cooldown). You will generally want to keep this off cooldown and even use it for large trash pulls in dungeons. This gives a significant boost to your damage during the duration, and you will want to start to consider saving Fourfold Feathers to use under Devilment (keep in mind you should still use a feather if you are at 4 and are about to use a proc weaponskill).

Level 66

At level 66, DNC gains “Fan Dance III”. Using Fan Dance or Fan Dance II will have a 50% chance to grant a proc of “Flourishing Fan Dance” which is consumed by using Fan Dance III. It does damage on the selected target plus additional AoE damage on enemy targets that are in a radius around your target. Fan Dance III should be used for both single target and AoE situations. You should use Fan Dance III before using Fan Dance or Fan Dance II otherwise there is a chance you will miss the opportunity to use the Flourishing Fan Dance proc that could have been generated from the Fan Dance or Fan Dance II.

Level 70

NOTE: Very important!! In order to unlock the level 70 DNC action, you must complete the level 70 DNC quest “Save the Last Dance for Me”

At level 70, DNC gains Technical Step. This is a 4 step dance that is on a 120 sec cooldown. Technical Finish does a very high amount of damage and gives an additional 5% damage buff for 20 sec to yourself and all nearby party members (in a 15y radius). Since this is a party buff as well as a high potency action, it should be kept off cooldown as much as possible. Since Devilment is also a 120 sec cooldown, these two actions should always be used together. You will want to weave Devilment right after using Technical Finish in almost all scenarios to gain the multiplicative gains from stacking these raid buffs. Technical Step and Devilment should be used in both single target and AoE situations.

Level 72

At level 72, DNC gains Flourish. This ability is on a 60 sec cooldown. It grants the Flourishing Symmetry, Flourishing Flow, and Flourishing Fan Dance buffs which allow access to Reverse Cascade / Rising Windmill, Fountainfall / Bloodshower, and Fan Dance III. It should be used off cooldown as much as possible. In an ideal world where nothing drifts, you can use it during your burst window with Technical Finish and Devilment every 2 minutes while also using it on the odd minute windows inbetween the burst phase. It is important to note that the Flourishing Symmetry and Flourishing Flow procs are different than the Silken Symmetry and Silken Flow procs that are generated from using Cascade / Fountain like normal. This means you can use Flourish even if you have either of these GCD procs already generated and you’ll be able to use the proc twice in a row. However, the Flourishing Fan Dance buff (which grants access to Fan Dance III) will override any Fan Dance III buffs you may already have active, so just make sure to use a Fan Dance III proc if you have one BEFORE using Flourish.

Level 76

At level 76, DNC gains Saber Dance and the Esprit gauge. Esprit is a resource that will start generating over the course of the fight by your own actions and the actions of those who are benefitting from your buffs. The DNC will generate 5 esprit for every Cascade, Fountain, Reverse Cascade, or Fountainfall (or their AoE weaponskill counterparts) they execute. Whenever your Dance Partner with the Standard Finish buff executes a weaponskill or spell, they have ~20% chance to generate 10 esprit for you. Whenever a party member with the Technical Finish buff executes a weaponskill or spell, they also have ~20% chance to generate 10 esprit for you. You can hold a maximum of 100 esprit.

Saber Dance costs 50 esprit to execute and is a very powerful weaponskill that does major damage on your primary target as well as additional damage to all nearby targets. It is your strongest base weaponskill in both single target and AoE target situations. You will want to save esprit as much as possible for your Technical Finish / Devilment burst windows since it does a lot of damage. However, you want to make sure you use Saber Dance when you are >= 80 esprit otherwise you risk losing some esprit if you and your dance partner happen to generate esprit at the same exact time.

Level 80

At level 80, DNC gains Improvisation. This does not affect your rotation, but is purely a party utility action that provides an AoE regen heal as well as a small damage barrier shield for yourself and nearby party members (see earlier section on utility).

Level 82

At level 82, DNC gains Tillana. Tillana is a proc’ed dance finishing move that is available after using Technical Finish. Tillana can be used anytime within 30 seconds of using Technical Finish. It also grants you 50 esprit. The optimal time to use it under most circumstances is while under the Technical Finish and Devilment buffs, but be careful not to use this when you have >30 esprit otherwise you risk overcapping esprit.

Level 84

At level 84, DNC gains a trait where Reverse Cascade, Fountainfall, Rising Windmill, and Bloodshower (your Flourished weaponskill procs) generate 10 esprit instead of 5, which allows for Saber Dance to be used more often.

Level 86

At level 86, Flourish grants DNC an extra proc called “Fourfold Fan Dance” which gives access to the ability “Fan Dance IV”. This ability is an extra oGCD ability that does a conal AoE towards your target and any other targets in that cone doing primary damage to the first target while all other targets receive 50% damage. This ability should be used in both single target and AoE situations.

Level 90

At level 90, when using Devilment, it grants you a proc called “Flourishing Starfall Dance” which grants access to the weaponskill Starfall Dance. This action does a massive amount of damage and is guaranteed to crit and direct hit. It does damage in a line towards your target, doing primary damage to your main target while all other targets are hit for 25% of the damage. It is worthwhile to use in both single target and AoE situations. The proc lasts 20 seconds (the same duration as Devilment) meaning you must use it before Devilment wears off, otherwise you will lose the chance to use it.

Level 92

At level 92, DNC gets a new weaponskill called “Last Dance” which is usable after getting the “Last Dance Ready” proc that comes from using Standard Finish. It does heavy single target damage while also doing splash damage to neighboring enemies making it effective to use in both single target and AoE situations. Think of this as a follow up action to Standard Step that turns it into a combo action. You have a 30 sec window to use “Last Dance” before the buff wears off though.

Level 94

At level 94, DNC gets a trait that increases the potency of many of DNC’s actions and single target weaponskills and Dances. DNC (along with melees and other Phys Range DPS) get a boost to the heal potency of second wind at this level as well.

Level 96

At level 96, Flourish will grant an additional proc called “Finishing Move Ready” for 30 seconds that allows you to use a new weaponskill called “Finishing Move”. This action cannot be assigned to your hotbar but instead replaces “Standard Step” with “Finishing Move” on your hotbar when the proc is ready. Finishing Move is a very powerful weaponskill that refreshes the duration of the Standard Finish buff without needing to do any of the steps and also procs “Last Dance Ready”. Effectively this action turns your next Standard Step from taking 5 seconds to 2.5 seconds. Since Finishing Move itself is a very strong action, you’ll want to use this in Technical Finish / Devilment buffs.

Level 100

At level 100, Technical Finish will grant a buff called “Dance of the Dawn Ready” which changes your first Saber Dance after Technical Finish into “Dance of the Dawn”. Dance of the Dawn also replaces Saber Dance on your hotbar when this buff is active. This action also uses 50 esprit like Saber Dance. No major rotational considerations need to be made for this new action, other than ensuring that this very high potency action (nearly twice the damage of a regular Saber Dance) is used in as many party buffs as possible.

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    Ringabel Dim
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