The Merced Academy of Dance once again offers people in Atwater and surrounding communities with an opportunity to watch a local ballet performance of a Christmas classic. The academy’s rendition of “The Nutcracker” is set for shows at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday at Buhach Colony High, 1800 N. Buhach Road, Atwater. About 150 dancers from young children to adults are set to pirouette, jump and tip-toe in the school’s theater. The show includes all of the academy’s classes, which vary in experience, according to instructors. Earlier in the week, students got a taste of the abbreviated performance. The show is directed by Jane Vann-Bryan, an Atwater native and director of the academy. “The Nutcracker” is a ballet scored with well-known Christmas music by Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. It tells the story of a girl who may or may not be dreaming when a nutcracker transforms into a man. Before taking the girl to the “Land of Sweets,” the Nutcracker/Man must battle the Mouse King, who has led an onslaught against gingerbread soldiers. Tickets for reserved seating are available for $15, $20 and $25.For more, got to www.mercedacademyofdance.com.