AMHERST - Bringing the Nutcracker ballet into the county was an easy decision for the owner of the Atlantic Dance Academy.
Dina Leisch, who opened the academy just over four years ago, said she wanted the people in the community a chance to appreciate the classical performance.
And once again, the public will have a chance to enjoy the Nutcracker this holiday season.
"Right now, we're rehearsing almost every day. There's not a lot of time left, and we're not as ready as I'd like to be," Leisch said before her evening classes began on Monday.
"But the students are doing an amazing job."
The Nutcracker begins with a 1:30 matinee on the afternoon of Dec. 19, with an evening show following at 6:30. Both will be at the Amherst Regional High School.
"The Nutcracker is a big production of classical ballet and a lot of people consider it high art," she said. "I'd like people to gain a better understanding of ballet and understanding of it as an art."
With more than 60 performers in each show, Leisch said the youngest performers start at the age of five, while the oldest student is around the age of 17. But that doesn't include the numerous parents that are in the first scene as well.
This year, the performance will include the battle scene with plenty of rats and mice, as well as soldiers, the prince and, of course, Clara.
"When I sit and watch them rehearse, they're doing really well and I'm enjoying it," she said, noting the kids are excited about the scene and are fascinated with it.
During the intermission of each performance, audience members will have a chance to mingle and enjoy some refreshments before heading back into the theatre for the second half.
Tickets for each performance can be purchased at the dance studio on Church Street, or by calling (506) 538-2969.
They can also be purchased at the door before each performance.