PLATTSBURGH — For three generations, the women of family-owned Nancy Langlois School of Dance have danced to the beat of the same drum.

In 1955, Nancy Langlois Gerace founded the local studio and was later joined by daughter Susan Gerace Mossey and granddaughter Kyra Mossey as instructors. 

In her younger years, Susan remembered watching her mom compose choreography in their family den. 

"I would set up my stuffed animals like they were my students and teach as she was working," she said. "I would always be in the same room as her." 

It was in 1995, after finishing her time at Manhattan College in New York City, that Susan returned home to teach dance alongside her mom. 

"I always knew I wanted to come home and join my mother's studio," she said. 

WHERE IT BEGAN

Headed for its 65th year in business, Nancy Langlois School of Dance has taught routines to thousands across the North Country. 

Nancy, or Miss Nancy, was 15 years old when she began what would become a 63-year-long career in dance instruction. 

Her education was with Dance Educators of America Inc. in New York City and at the Arthur Murray School of Dance in Montreal. 

Though she began dance instruction at 49 Elm St. in the City of Plattsburgh, her studio expanded over the years to the now 4,200-square-foot space at 34 Riley Ave. 

And while the founder retired in 2018, Susan said her mother's legacy remained.

"From Nancy's famous 'Hula Babies' to the 'Plattsburgh Rockettes,' her name is synonymous with tap dancing in this area," a press release says.

HIP HOP

Susan said she brought a legacy of her own to Plattsburgh, too, when she started a hip-hop dance class in the mid-90s. 

"When I came home, hip-hop did not exist in Plattsburgh," Susan said. "The classes caught on quickly."

And, they've stuck around nearly 25 years later. 

Now, Susan offers 20 classes a week in the hip-hop, tap, ballet and contemporary-jazz genres. 

THIRD WHEEL

Susan couldn't remember the first time she took the recital stage, but does remember watching her now 21-year-old daughter Kyra.

"She did a solo at the age of three," Susan said. "I remember she had zero stage fright. She loved every minute of it."

Kyra later became a full-time instructor at Nancy Langlois School of Dance, teaching her own 10 classes a week. 

"She always knew exactly what she wanted to do even as a young child," the release says. "Dance is not simply a hobby, it's a way of life for the Gerace-Mossey family."

Kyra, who has training in tap, hip-hop, contemporary and gymnastics, has doubled as a SUNY Plattsburgh student with plans to finish her degree there this December.

"She has a full plate," Susan said. 

'AN HOUR OF FUN'

Susan said the Riley Avenue location was like two studios under one roof.

Inside the facility, one part was known as, "The Main," and the other as, "The Adirondack."

Skill level at Nancy Langlois School of Dance ranges from preschool to adult. 

For kids, Susan said, dance class was often their first structured activity.

"It's confidence and coordination," she said. "And getting on stage — that's a big deal for a three year old to get on stage in front of 700 people."

As for adults, the instructor said the hour-long sessions were a moment of peace.

"Women from all walks of life come to class," Susan said. "They're single, they're married, they're stay-at-home moms, they're professional women.

"It's an hour to themselves, an hour of fun, an hour away from the kids or an hour away from work."

LIKE MOTHER, LIKE DAUGHTER

Like the instructors, students have followed in their parent's footsteps, too. 

"Many adults who attend class have children who dance, as well," the release says. "Nancy Langlois School of Dance even offers a 'Like Mother, Like Daughter tap routine each season, which showcases how much fun dance is as a family affair."

The school's annual dance sessions begin in September and continue until a June recital. 

"We strive to teach children to have a strong sense of self-esteem, while building their confidence as they grow as dancers," Susan said. 

"It is such a privilege to watch them shine onstage at the end of each season." 

Email McKenzie Delisle: 

mdelisle@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @McKenzieDelisle

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