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Durand School students dance the night away at prom in Washington Township

New Jersey students with autism enjoy prom night in Washington Township
New Jersey students with autism enjoy prom night in Washington Township 01:53

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBS) -- Students danced the night away at the Durand School prom on Friday night.

"We have been talking about this event for weeks now," Durand School Principal Jennifer Amoroso said.

The special night at The Supper Club in Washington Township was filled with sparkles and snazzy suits.


"We have quite a few dancers in here. We love to dance at Durand," Amoroso said.

One of them was Hayden Rossi, who said a 90s boy band inspired his look for the night.

"I look like the one from the Backstreet Boys, 'I Want It That Way,'" Rossi said.


Durand serves students with autism, learning and developmental disabilities. The students who attended the prom also got a full day of glam.

"We had haircuts. We had updos and then the students get to dress up and have that neurotypical event that they're not used to having," Amoroso said.

DJ Nick also had the whole room dancing and when it comes to song choice, he said he reads the room.

"Depends on the crowd," DJ Nick said.

Elizabeth Utvik said there's nothing like watching her daughter smile.

"It is like nothing that you can honestly imagine. Not only that she gets to have a prom, but also that I get to be here," Utvik said.


"She got an updo in school, which she promptly took right out obviously. And the group home that my daughter lives in, they decorated it like you wouldn't believe. They had a limo because they wanted a full prom experience," Utvik said. 

While the students danced the night away, it was also a night to remember for their families, teachers and staffers.

"It's a whole family experience and they get to come out and they get to dance, they get to have amazing food and they get to have the best night ever. And look at the way they're all dressed, they are having the best night of their lives," said Rae Pastore, director of marketing and development.


Durand said this is their second prom and since it was such a success, they are planning to have it year after year.

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