September 23, 2012

Longtime dance studio shows off newest move


---- — PLATTSBURGH — The Langlois-Racine Dance School is returning to 72 Pine St. in the City of Plattsburgh.

Barbara Racine owns the business and receives assistance from her mother, Patricia Langlois Racine, who started the school 63 years ago. Racine also has help from two of her children, Tarissa Healey and Trina Cohen.

“We want to make it clear we are continuing our school — just not in the same building,” Racine said.

Instruction is available in tap, ballet, jazz and hip-hop. Racine said they try to focus on fun as much as proper instruction.

“The most important thing we teach a child is self-esteem and confidence,” she said. “We encourage them to support their classmates.”

The Langlois-Racine Dance School started a competitive dance team three years ago. The team was awarded the Outstanding Stage Presence Award at the Step Up 2 Dance competition in Albany in April, noted for their strong, clean, polished routines with nice, even foundations and line changes. The judges also noticed their animation and charachter of the students that kept to the story line.

The team also received four gold awards, three high gold awards and one platinum award, the highest offered. The team also received a number of gold and high gold awards at a competition in Springfield, Mass. the previous two years.

Langlois Racine has a masters degree in ballet and theater arts from the Chalif School of Dance in New York City and is a Arthur Murray Bronze and Silver medalist. She started teaching in a studio in her parents basement when she returned to Plattsburgh in 1950.

Langlois Racine said she will continue to offer ballroom dancing classes at the school. 

Racine said she has danced since she was three years old. She studied Acrotheatre at Plattsburgh State for 10 years under Erwin Beyer, the founder of the combination artistic performance and sport. 

Racine also studied at the Giordano Dance School in Montreal, Dance Olympics in New York City and Dance educators of America, also in New York City.

She was a Section VII gymnastics champion from 1977 through 1979. Racine said she started student teaching at the Langlois-Racine Dance School in 1975 and has helped run the school with her sister, Ann Racine Rabideau, who has since left the business, in 1979. 

She has offered instruction throughout the North Country and often assisted with choreography at area schools. Racine said she even offers lessons and choreography for people who are about to get married.

Cohen and Healey have been student teachers at the school for several years. They have also taught dance at St. Mary’s Academy in Champlain.

Cohen has an associates degree in liberal arts from Clinton Community College and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Plattsburgh State.

She said her children make the fourth generation of dancers in the family.

Healey has an associates degree in liberal arts from Clinton Community College and is pursuing a criminal-justice degree with a minor in sociology at Plattsburgh State.

Renovations are under way at the Pine Street studio. That includes work on the floors, woodwork, ballet bars and mirrors, as well as an expanded parking lot.

Classes start the first week of October. Call 563-5979 to enroll or for information.

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