Seniors Boogie at Chelsea Prom

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Prom season was ushered in yesterday at a dance for seniors -- not high-school seniors, but the over-65 crowd that frequents the Hudson Guild Center in Chelsea. The soiree, with donated formal wear available, costume jewels, and free make-up and hair application, was the brainchild of 21-year-old Fashion Institute of Technology student Ashley Juskus. She enlisted her friends at FIT and her family (60 volunteers in total) to throw the big party. Seniors from across the city showed up; 160 RSVP'd but 220 came.

After "mocktails" and a brief speech by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who came with her father, the seniors hit the dance floor.

We heard from:

Karen Perkins, who declined to discuss where she grew up but admitted this was her first prom.

Ann Jaspin is in her 70s, and says she also did not go to her prom at Morris High School in the Bronx because she was too shy.

And her preferred dance partner, Peter Mationi, 80, a former mechanical engineer who goes to dances at DC37. He attended his prom at Stuyvesant High and fondly recalls the name of his date, Jean Gargin, but has lost track of her.