“The Nutcracker” ballet, featuring a journey into a magical world where toys, gingerbread cookies, candy canes and snowflakes come to life, has long been a favorite holiday tale.There will be a performance of the famous ballet at Century II Concert Hall in Wichita next weekend — and four local students will be a part of the production.“We’re excited that they can dance with this professional company,” said Danika Bielek with the Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts.Miranda Reinert, 14, Emily Blaine, 13, Briar Grant, 11, and Katie Castor, 10, are all students at the Bethel College Academy of Performing Arts. BCAPA instructor Kalina Bartlett also will be involved in the Ballet Wichita production.Reinert will be dancing in “Waltz of the Flowers,” the Arabian dance and the dance of the Mirlitons. Blaine will be in the “Waltz of the Flowers” and also will be dancing as a prancing horse pulling a sleigh. Grant will play a ginger cookie, and Castor will play a mouse.While this is Grant and Castor’s first year to be a part of the production, Reinert and Blaine both have appeared in the production previously. Bielek said the older girls helped encourage the younger ones to try out for the ballet, and she is proud of her students’ work.She said the experience will help her students gain self-confidence and endurance as dancers, as well as give them an opportunity to learn more about “The Nutcracker” and about being involved in a large, complicated production.“They learn about the history a little more, and how all the parts come together,” she said.All four students would like to become professional dancers in the future, and she said participating in “The Nutcracker” will help them gain valuable experience.“They’re becoming very diverse and fun dancers, and I think they all enjoy what they do,” she said.Tickets are available for “The Nutcracker” performances at 8 p.m. Dec. 15 and 2 p.m. Dec. 16 at Century II in Wichita. To purchase tickets, call 219-4849 or visit www.wichitatix.com.Bielek also invites the public to attend a local dance production at 6 p.m. Dec. 21 at Krehbiel Auditorium on the Bethel College campus. The show is titled “On the Rise” and features choreography work by BCAPA students.General admission tickets will be available at the door: $6 for adults, $3 for children, students and seniors, and free for children age 5 and under.