The Dancer is a towering, lanky being that more closely resembles her master, Pontiff Sulyvahn, than the other beastly armored knights from Irithyll, like Vordt. She stands upright instead of crawling on all fours and shambles with deceivingly slow steps. This unusual gait, paired with the caustic dark ooze that drips from her body whilst warping into the cathedral (very similar to the liquid that exudes from Knight Artorias), may imply a connection with the Abyss.
Found in the High Wall of Lothric, in the cathedral where Emma, High Priestess of Lothric Castle resides. Under normal circumstances, she will reveal herself after the player has defeated the first three Lords of Cinder: the Abyss Watchers, Aldrich, Saint of the Deep and Yhorm the Giant.
After the third Lord of Cinder has been defeated, a cutscene will play with Emma summoning the Ashen One to the cathedral. Once there, she will bestow them the Basin of Vows. Walking up to the statue of the beheading knight behind her with it in possession will trigger the boss fight.
Alternatively, the player may kill Emma at any time during the game, loot the basin from her body and approach the statue to commence the battle. This allows for early access to Lothric Castle, the Consumed King's Garden and Untended Graves.
This direct relative of the Anor Londo royalty, thought to have been a maiden to Gwynevere, was among those Irithyllians living in Irithyll of the Boreal Valley when it was conquered by Pontiff Sulyvahn. At some point after these events, Sulyvahn forced her to become a dancer. He later conscripted her into his contingent of Outrider Knights, which was his version of exile, and in accordance to her vows she was bestowed blades of power mirroring his own. They were sent out, with her being accompanied by Vordt of the Boreal Valley, and they both eventually devolved into bestial fighters.
The arena in which the Dancer is fought is not very large, and gives limited room for avoiding her attacks. As well, the furniture at the sides can obstruct movement, so rolling through them early in the fight can provide more maneuvering space later. The pillars at the sides can also be used as a limited form of cover to shield oneself from her attacks. These pillars as well as the walls can be set on fire by hitting them with a Fire source like the torch, or by the Dancer's attacks with her right-hand weapon.
For the first phase of the fight, the Dancer performs limited combos with her weapon, with a few attacks that can reach her sides or behind her. It is best to stay near the Dancer's right leg so that her grab is easier to see (although it doesn't reach far, it can reach far around her left side, making it a bad idea to side roll). Boosting fire resistance with the Flame Stoneplate Ring or Red Bug Pellet may be a good idea but not required as it is in your best interest to avoid her attacks altogether. Using stamina reinforcers like the Grass Crest Shield, Chloranthy Ring, or Green Blossoms are a good idea, as it will provide more stamina to be ready to evade her attacks.
Around half health, the Dancer will bring out her second blade which does Magic damage, losing her ability to perform her grab attack. Her combos become much more dangerous and lengthy at this point, with several of them having unpredictable stopping points (particularly her twirl) or retaliatory follow-ups to punish attempts to attack at the end of a combo. During this phase, it is generally better to stay in front of her rather than behind, in order to more easily read her attacks and dodge. Be mindful that her twirling attacks coincide precisely with chained rolls, so performing repeated rolls at the right moment will dodge all of them including the finishing spin. The few chains that she does throw however can leave behind a dragging trail of fire, or dark. That tracks through the attacks path.
The Dancer is not a particularly fast boss, but her movements are deliberate and she has very long and powerful combos, so fast weapons that do not have long windup or recovery times can work better than slow and powerful weapons. She also does not have a lot of health for a boss at this stage of the game, reducing her difficulty for experienced players attempting to kill her early. She will eventually stagger after taking enough Poise damage, and enough hits targeted on her head will open her up for a critical attack. A relatively heavy armor set and strong enough two handed weapon can stagger her in about 2 to 3 strikes. Though the stagger state only last for around 2.5 seconds and will only offer the enhance damage effect for around half as much time.
The Dancer is weak to Strike and Dark damage, as well as being susceptible to Bleed buildup. This makes Human Pine Resin and Carthus Rouge powerful tools to use for this fight, as well as weapons such as the Dark Hand. Casters will have the option to use spells such as Dorhys' Gnawing and Great Deep Soul, which will allow them to eviscerate her from a distance.
Keep in mind that the Dancer's attacks are often lanky and very difficult to telegraph. So the player should take caution when choosing a time to attack.
Soul of the Dancer
- Killing Emma, High Priestess of Lothric Castle in order to obtain the basin has no negative storyline consequences, as the player will still be summoned to the cathedral by her after defeating the third Lord of Cinder. However, Lion Knight Albert's summon will become unavailable, as he will use his Black Separation Crystal to leave if Emma dies.
- In Irithyll of the Boreal Valley, several ghosts of long dead knights can be seen wandering along the city streets. Two unique ghosts in particular, one male and the other female, can be seen departing from the cathedral at the end of the main street. They heavily resemble Vordt and the Dancer of the Boreal Valley, both of whom served together under Pontiff Sulyvahn's command.
- In the network test and early demos, the Dancer's name appeared as the "Dancer of the Frigid Valley".
- An unused set of audio files can be found that depict the Dancer laughing and shrilling as she enters the fight, as well as giving a haunting chuckle when she stares at the player. This laughter and shrill is of a multi-voiced female source.