This year an icon in Plattsburgh culture turns 65! The Nancy Langlois School of Dance (NLSD), founded in 1955, has provided lessons for thousands of children, teenagers and adults. Today the business is a three-generation studio: Nancy Langlois Gerace (1955 – 2018), Susan Gerace Mossey, (1995 -present) and Kyra Mossey (2018 – present). Seldom do three generations follow in each other’s footsteps, which makes this a unique undertaking as they work to keep the family tradition alive.
In 1955, Dwight Eisenhower was president of the United State, the television remote control and microwave oven were introduced and Nancy Langlois Gerace began her career as a dance instructor. Miss Nancy was 15 at the time. She later earned her diploma from Dance Educators of America in New York City and studied with the Arthur Murray School of Dance in Montreal. Gerace taught students from three years old to adults. From her Hula Babies to the Plattsburgh Rockettes, her name soon became synonymous with tap dance in the area.
Susan Gerace Mossey started dancing at age three and expanded her skills in the disciplines of tap, ballet, jazz, and gymnastics over the next 15 years. After high school she left Plattsburgh to study English and Fine Arts at Manhattan College. While living in New York City she studied at the Broadway Dance Center and the Bronx Dance Theatre.
“I always wanted to teach dance and I knew I wanted to come home and join my mother’s studio,” Susan explained. She returned to the North Country in 1995 and introduced the first hip-hop classes. “When we started, hip-hop did not exist in the area but it quickly caught on,” she said. In addition to hip-hop, Susan currently teaches tap, ballet and contemporary jazz. Her cutting-edge choreography continues to make her classes the most sought after in the area.
Students’ enthusiasm led to the need for larger quarters and, after several moves around Plattsburgh, Susan finally settled in a 4,200 square foot facility on Riley Avenue in 2018.
Today she has a busy schedule, teaching 20 classes a week. “I love choreography and I love teaching,” she emphasized. “I am very lucky to be able to share my knowledge with my students.”
Kyra Mossey literally grew up in a dance studio, starting classes at age two. She always knew exactly what she wanted to do, even as a child. Dance is not a hobby, it a way of life for the Gerace-Mossey family. Kyra performed her first solo at age three and has gone on to train in tap, hip-hop, contemporary, and gymnastic. She has been an assistant teacher for Miss Nancy and Susan for the past decade and each summer furthers her dance education at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Currently a senior at SUNY Plattsburgh, she is looking forward to expanding her role at the studio after graduation.
LOOKING BACK, LOOKING AHEAD
Nancy, Susan and Kyra strive to promote the sense of family longevity to their students. NLSD features a “Decades of Dance” program for students who have been enrolled for 20+ years. For the past several years more than 50 students have participated in the “Decades” program. “Part of the appeal of this program is our ability to place students with those of their own age, allowing for close friendships to develop over the years,” Susan observed. The studio also offers a “Like Mother, Like Daughter” class which showcases how much fun dance is as a family affair.
“Women from all walks of life come to our classes. They are single, married, stay-at-home Moms, and professional women,” Susan observed. “We strive to teach children and adults to have a strong sense of self-esteem while building their confidence as they grow as dancers. It is never too late to take your first dance steps.”