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Gwinnett children dance in "Nutcracker' ballet

Eight Gwinnett children are dancing in the Atlanta Ballet's "The Nutcracker" this holiday season.

Sabrina Sandoval of Norcross and Mary Kate McCarthy of Lilburn dance the roles of dream fairies; Kristi McCollum of Buford and Rebecca Dusek of Lawrenceville were cast as a party children; Jessica Dusek and Christy Zachary, both of Lawrenceville, dance as infantry soldiers; Tsoler Terizan of Tucker performs as a munchkin chef; and Kevin Flores of Dacula dances as a Trepak, a rat and a nephew in the ballet.

The Gwinnett youth are part of a cast of more than 300 children who will grace the stage at the Fox Theatre in "The Nutcracker," a holiday tradition spanning more than 40 years. The ballet tells the story of Marya Petrov, a young Russian girl who dreams of being a ballerina, and the magical gift she receives from the toymaker Drosselmeyer, a nutcracker who saves a slumbering, dreaming Marya from a dreadful rat king and whisks the ballerina away to a fantastical place.

Performances of "The Nutcracker" will be presented at 2 and 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 28 with a 7 p.m. performance Sunday. For more information on the Atlanta Ballet, visit www.atlantaballet.com.

SideBar: If You Go

· What: Atlanta Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker"

· When: 2 and 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 28 with a 7 p.m. performance Sunday

· Where: Fabulous Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta

· Cost: Tickets prices start at $15

· For more information: www.atlantaballet.com