BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — A dance company is ready for opening night in the capital city this weekend. And they’re expecting to sell out once again.

Friday, Northern Plains Dance debuts this season’s production of The Nutcracker.

This year will be the biggest performance in the dance company’s history with over 180 people in the cast, some as young as four years old.

The ballet tells the story of a girl who befriends a nutcracker who comes to life on Christmas Eve. The nutcracker is actually a prince and takes the girl to a magical land ruled by the sugar plum fairy.

Northern Plains Dance artistic director Hollis Mackintosh Heid said the show is a fun tradition for dancers as well as the directors.

“Especially for the staff, because we have a completely different cast every year,” Northern Plains Dance Artistic Director Hollis Mackintosh Heid said. “We get to really play with the personalities and the strengths of every person who decides they want to be a part of it.”

“You get very nervous. But once you get on stage and you start dancing, then it doesn’t seem as intimidating,” Shelby Sandberg said. Sandberg is playing the role of ‘Clara’.

The Nutcracker opens at the Belle Mehus Auditorium on Friday at 7 p.m. They also have shows on Saturday and Sunday.