The river is our life. Our love for whitewater adventure, wilderness, and river rafting has inspired and enriched our lives. Come join our river family!
Aaron, on a permanent hiatus from an electrical engineering career, is an accomplished river guide, mountaineer, ski patroller and a highly skilled outdoorsman. He loved River Dancers so much, he bought the company!
John is one of the founders of River Dancers. He’s been guiding for over 30 years and still retains his enthusiasm for whitewater rafting. He is a master storyteller, a teacher and practitioner of Transcendental Meditation, and has a deep reverence for the river. He is an expert at balancing your need for adventure with getting you safely down the river. He is also a superb dishwasher!
“You were outstanding hosts and guides, but more importantly, wonderful people."
Chantal is one of the original founders of River Dancers. She has traveled to every nook and cranny of the world and has an interesting story or two to tell that will make you laugh. Her warm personality and smile will make you feel right at home on any river trip. You may find her in the kitchen orchestrating a gourmet river meal.
”We were very impressed with the attitude of the guides and the example they set of not just skill in their craft, but a reverence for the river and the natural world." - Anna Rainville, Waldorf School Teacher
Casey divides his time between the mountains and rivers and is an exceptional and experienced guide in both domains. Originally from Port Townsend, WA, Casey grew up in the Northwest but has lived just about everywhere west of Colorado. Casey has climbed and skied many of the Cascade volcanoes and spent many years climbing full time, including a month-long expedition to Denali where he skied from the summit.
You may see him carrying a large, sharp knife around town. Not to worry, he uses it to cut the amazing sushi that he makes. You may even be blessed to have him do it on the river.
He also holds a certificate in white water rescue, is a Wilderness EMT, and has his BS in Geology.
Casey believes that the most important piece of gear is PMA (Positive Mental Attitude).
Justin is an all around outdoor professional. He is a river guide, mountain guide, ski guide, rock guide, and backpack guide. During the winter he ski patrols and works part time as an instructor for Southern Oregon University’s Outdoor Adventure Leadership department.
Justin has guided many of our local rivers including the Klamath, Rogue, North Umpqua and California Salmon as well as some distant rivers including Idaho’s Middle and Main Salmon and Nepal’s Kali Gandoki. He is certified as an vertical rope rescue technician and is an advanced swiftwater rescue technician.
When Justin is not working he enjoys kayaking, studying various worldviews, and traveling internationally. He has pioneered ski descents in the Nepali Himalayas.
Some little known facts about Justin: he is allergic to cats, writes with his left hand, gets excited about a good game of chess, and has a voice fit for a career in opera.
You may hear tall tales of Kelsey’s origins recounted by old guides with dubious memories around the campfire at night. One thing is certain: she was whitewater rafting before she could walk, developing — some say — an uncanny ability to stroll upon water.
As a trip leader for OARS and Turtle River Rafting, she has developed the skills to handle all aspects of running a top notch river trip, safely and professionally. She has honed her culinary skills as a sous-chef in Squaw Valley Ski Resort which you can experience in the likely event of catching her in the kitchen on the river.
Unknown to most, she has a beautiful voice and may be coaxed into a serenade if you catch her at the right moment.
Nick has been raft guiding since 1999. You may have seen him out on one of the many rivers of the west including the Animas, Snake, Skagit, Noosack, Cattooga, San Juan, and the Colorado through the Grand Canyon. He has also guided on all of our local classics including the Rogue, Klamath, Trinity, Sacramento, and Smith Rivers. Nick is an EMT and has technical rope rescue and swiftwater rescue training. When not on the river, Nick works as a mountain and heli-ski guide and ski patroller. Ultra professional when needed, but always willing to let loose with a good joke and story. Nick is pleasure to have on the river with us.
Dan retired from firefighting in Florida, left everything behind, jumped in his van, and hit the open road. Somehow he ended up at River Dancers. And we’re glad he did. He is strong, hard working, friendly, and is always eager to help out. When not on the river, he works as a contractor and gets out into the mountains as much as possible.
Mark is a seasoned river guide, woodworker extraordinaire and knowledgeable “bird man.” His passion for the river runs deep and his wit and charm are irresistible.
Once we knew what a cicerone was, we hired her. You may not see this at your first glance, but Jenna is a bad ass. Mountain guide, ski guide, river guide, mountain biker. She embraces adventure with wild abandon. And yet you would never know it because her ego is always in check and she never takes herself too seriously. Enjoy her sense of humor because she’ll sure to make you laugh.
Imbibe a drink with her. She knows a little bit about beer and life — a combination well suited for the river.
Mountain guide, river guide, ski bum. Living the life. Alyssa has dedicated herself to the outdoor lifestyle. She holds a degree in Outdoor Leadership from Southern Oregon University and has developed the mettle for adventure in the wilderness. She brings a diverse set of skills to the river. You can count on her if things go wrong, but you can be rest assured they won’t on her watch.
Bantering is her specialty. Don’t let her spunk fool you. She will dish it out if she thinks you can take it. So make sure you don’t.
Ken is the ultimate professional river guide and quite the accomplished musician. He’ll often bring a guitar along so be sure to ask him to play and sing you a tune. He exudes charm and knows a thing or two about having a good time.
Check out the SoundFarm Band
Whether he is in your boat or not, he’ll get you down the river safely. After a Grand Canyon trip, he took our guide school in 2017 and yet is a surprisingly great guide. In fact, he helps teach the course now. We don’t get to see him often, but he is one our favorite guest guides. Always positive and smiling. Guides and guests like him equally. Although he works mainly on the South Fork of the American, he makes the trip up north to help us out on the Klamath, Upper Sacramento, and Trinity rivers.
Wes has a professional level river rescue certification and a wilderness first responder certification. Bottom line: if you’re in trouble on the river Wes is a great guy to have around. But we’ve never seen him in trouble, so you are in safe hands.
When he’s not on the river, Wes works as a social science teacher in Sacramento. If you are lucky enough to be assigned to his boat, you’ll not only be with one of our most experienced boatmen, you’ll also learn some interesting local history along the way.
Wes also enjoys backpacking, hiking, climbing and canyoneering. And if you haven’t guessed, has a pretty extensive resume in each of these sports as well.
Kyle likes chocolate and peanut butter on her pancakes. Need to know more? She wears tutus, knows a lot about birds, and can knit better than your grandmother. Make sure you ask her to sing you a tune on the ukulele or guitar.
Kyle has led wilderness trips in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Alaska, and California. She graduated from DePauw University with a bachelors in english literature and has her masters in secondary education from Xavier University. In the off season she works as a middle school teacher and tennis and lacrosse coach. She writes poetry and her favorite book is The Little Prince.
And, yeah — she’s from Cincinnati.
While taking River Dancer’s Whitewater School, Joey fell in love with the river and was soon slinging gear as a river guide. Having retired from his career as a chef, Joey finds himself whipping up culinary concoctions on the river bank. At home in the forest, he loves to forage for mushrooms, edible plants, and fun!
Chance spent his formative years in Happy Camp. So if he seems a little weird, that is the reason. But seriously, Chance is one of the most hard working, but fun, positive guides we have. Occasionally he takes a break from being a professional firefighter, EMT, and ski patroller to join us on the river. When he does, we love it! You will, too.