Fort Myers remembers Norma Jeanne Bochette

Fort Myers gathered to celebrate the life of local icon Norma Jeanne Bochette at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates on Monday.

Bochette got her start as a dancer at the Edison and Ford Winter Estate in the 1930s when she was only five years old.

Dancing at the estate for the Edisons and Fords launched her career. She wanted to dance and she wanted to start a school. Her life turned out just as she planned as a five-year-old.

She blazed a trail as a young woman, debuting as the first female drum major in the state of Florida for the Fort Myers Marching Band.

She went on to build a career as a dancer, joining The Rockettes and the New York City Ballet Company.

All of her adventures led her back to the place she loved most, Fort Myers, where she founded a dancing school that has been active for 67 years.

“Jeanne Bochette was Fort Myers Florida,” said her daughter, Alyce Bochette. “She loved the sun, the sky, the grass, the beach, the cows, the citrus, the people, the fabric that made up the community.”

Monday night, that same community gathered to watch dancers from her ballet school, Ballet Bochette, perform in her honor. Her family said the celebration is exactly what she would have wanted.

 

Writer:Emily Luft
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