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BURNET — When the 2014 production of “The Story of the Nutcracker” takes the Burnet High School auditorium stage, Studio 29 Dance Centre owner and director Jenn Moore knows it will be one of the best to date.

“Many of the dancers have been with me for years,” she said. So that translates into some of the best dancing.

When Moore directed the first performance in 2006, when the studio had a different owner, she was building a foundation that would pay off dividends in years to come, both for herself and the dancers. And it’s one that permeates across the program and the community.

But on Dec. 6-7, it’s about “The Story of the Nutcracker.”

“When the ‘Nutcracker’ was first performed (in the 1890s), it wasn’t very well received, but then it was difficult for people to understand,” Moore said. “But it’s grown and changed, so that now it’s really become a Christmas tradition. And that’s one of the things I’ve wanted to do with our production, make it a Hill Country Christmas tradition.”

It’s apparently working because the audience continues to return year after year. Some have children or grandchildren in the performance, but others come back simply because they enjoy the story and the Studio 29 Dance Centre’s production.

Moore changes things up a bit each year, adding a scene, changing up a character or just tweaking things here and there, which makes each annual performance a bit different. But still at the heart of it is the story of Clara and The Nutcracker.

“I think one of the things that makes this ballet such a Christmas tradition is that it is really about the children, especially Clara, and that fantasy that only kids can really have,” Moore said. “We all want that bit of Christmas magic, and we can experience it with this ballet.”

For some people — in the Highland Lakes and around the globe — the “Nutcracker” might be the only ballet they take in during the year.

Moore understands people’s apprehension about attending the ballet, but pointed out  that the “Nutcracker,” especially the Studio 29 Dance Centre’s production, isn’t all ballet. Instead, she said, there are a lot of different styles of dance that go along with the story line. In fact, the longest ballet piece is the “Waltz of the Flower,” which is toward the end of the production.

“And it’s only about six minutes,” she said.

But as “The Story of the Nutcracker” unfolds in the opening party scene, it transports the audience, making it an experience as much for them as for the performers.

This year’s production includes one of the biggest casts yet with many picking up more than one of the 65 roles. Even the Burnet High School Highlandettes are helping as they perform the Snow Scene.

“I think the way the community and everybody has really embraced this performance helps make it even more special,” Moore added.

The performances are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 7 in the auditorium at Burnet High School, 1000 The Green Mile. Tickets are available at the Studio 29 Dance Centre, 1002 N. Water St. (U.S. 281) in Burnet, or at the door.

Go to, email or call (512) 756-1073 for more information.