President, Chris Krueger called the meeting to order asking Geoff White to lead the invocation and John Benedict to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
Brian Harvey introduced his wife, Marsha.  Jim McGown introduced his long-time friend, Dennis Holley.  John Pennypacker introduced Robert Smethurst, a visiting Rotarian from the Bellingham, Washington Club.  He will be staying in our area through May.  Bob Zarling introduced Tom Bradford who was back for a second visit.  He is serious about becoming a Rotarian.  He had lunch with Membership Chair, Don LaBarge since his last visit to Mesa West.  Aubrey introduced her daughters - one who stayed home from school not feeling well, and the other who stayed home for moral support for her sister.  Alaskan Rotarian, Rick Bouse, was again a welcome visitor to our club.
Marsha Harvey drew Jim McGown's badge number making him the $5 weekly attendance drawing winner.  Chuck Flint explained that the weekly raffle winner would win $30 and a chance to draw the ace of clubs from the cards remaining in the deck, which would be worth $240.  He asked Marsha to draw the winning ticket, which was held by Dick Myren.  Unfortunately, Dick drew the jack of hearts from the deck.  Chuck then explained the Buck Board for the benefit of our guests and circulated with it to sell additional squares on the board.  
Happy Bucks
Greg Okonowski served as Sgt at Arms collecting happy bucks.  He was glad to be back at our meeting having had conflicts for the past several weeks.  Donna Goetzenberger was happy about a great weekend spent at the Grand Canyon with Youth Exchange students.  Frank Rosenberg contributed $5 for Bob Jensen's ugly (UofA) shirt.  Brian Harvey was glad for the organization at Mesa West.  While in Baltimore, they tried to make up Rotary meetings, but clubs were not meeting at their published locations.  Dave McGown shared a George H. W. Bush story.  When he was patrolling a mall years ago, one of the employees who worked cleaning the food court had a story to tell about when he was in the military, he was the only one with the necessary code to get a submarine to surface and rescue young Bush after his plane was shot down.  He had a photo of himself dancing at an inaugural ball to prove the truth of his story.  Dick Myren was happy to have won the drawing and happy that Rod Daniels may in the relative near future be able to return as an active member.  Dick was sad he had to cancel a bell ringing shift and was going to have to leave early.  He is having problems with his leg.  Jim McGown had found an AJ's jacket which he planned to auction, but Darl Andersen chose to be the only bidder in a one-person auction.  He wanted his account billed for $40 for the collector's item which fits him perfectly, though a bit tight in the biceps.  Bob Jensen wanted to respond to Frank Rosenberg's criticism of his shirt.  Bob thinks it is ugly too.  He is an ASU grad, but his kids went to U of A and have made sure he has shirts from there.  Terry Diedrick announced that his wife, Patty, had a deer tag.  She now hold the honor of getting the largest deer ever in their immediate and extended family.
Steve Ross introduced Alexandra Papazian form Ballet Arizona, and an Alumni of the Ballet School of Ballet Arizona.  Alexandra said she enjoyed the sense of community she experienced during our Mesa West Rotary meeting.  She was well prepared and provided members with some interesting ballet history.
Ballet actually started in Italy, where strict protocols had developed with the aristocracy on how people should present themselves in formal social settings.  Catherine de Medici took those traditions to France when she married King Henry II.  In France, over time ballet grew in popularity.  King Louis VIX was very good with drama and stage productions.  He established the first ballet academy in 1661, known as the Royal Academy of Dance, headed by Pierre Beauchamp.  In 1669, Beauchamp, with Jean-Baptiste Lully, from the Royal Academy of Music and Moliere, the famed playwright, created The Paris Opera Ballet, which still thrives as the oldest ballet company in the world.
Ballet looks complicated but when simplified, makes learning it possible.  There are five basic positions for feet.  The dance then is various transitions from one position to another with the whole body carefully centered during each transition. 
Ballet transitioned during the renaissance.  There were periods of progression in the style forms of ballet.  The 1700's were a classical period, the 1800's romantic, and the 1900's Ballet Russe evolved.  Ballet had become a more widespread art form.  By 1850, Russia had become the leading creative epicenter for ballet.  Through the early 20th century, many of the most famous ballets were created such as The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Giselle and the Nutcracker.
George Balanchine saw the popularity of ballet in America during the 1930's.  He left Ballet Russes to settle in the US.  He is known today as the Father of American Ballet.  He established the New York City Ballet, along with his own style known as the Balanchine Style, which is still taught today.  Ib Andersen, who was named the Artistic Director at Ballet Arizona in 2000 was the last protege of George Balanchine.   His creativity is continuing to evolve combining ethereal and neoclassical styles and other artistic mediums into contemporary ballet.  
Mesa West Rotarians had an opportunity to preview a costume (see the photo of Aubrey's daughter) from a neo classical ballet that will premier in Arizona in February, 2019.  
The Ballet Arizona company is comprised of 30 professional dancers from all over the world.  Many bring Latin and Latin American styles.  Every production has sets to be built, costumes to be made.  When asked about the ballet under the stars productions, it was clear the the complexities of putting sets together and having to disassemble them between productions will keep that program from expanding in the foreseeable future.
Alexandra explained that the box in a ballerina's point shoe is not made of wood.  The reason the shoes are very expensive is that the boxes are made of layers of satin and canvas carefully glued together.   
The lifestyle of a professional dancer is exhausting.  After an hour and a half of warm up, they spend seven to eight hours dancing.  They go home, eat, and go to the gym.  Dancers do not do it for the money.  The salary range of professional dancers is $20,000 to $50,000 annually.  They do it for the team, love of the art, and a strong sense of community.