HACKETTSTOWN-The N.J. Civic Youth Ballet (NJCYB) will again light up the stage in December with its sixth annual performance of the magical holiday classic, The Nutcracker. Talented young dancers from northwestern New Jersey, ranging in age from five to 18, have been rehearsing since mid-September for the performance. They will be joined by guest soloists Andrei Jouravlev and Elisabeth Holowchuk. Four performances, to be held the first weekend in December, will feature the timeless music of Tchaikovsky, festive costumes and colorful stage sets. NJCYB is a non-profit dance company that is dedicated to offering young, talented New Jersey dancers an opportunity to perform classical and contemporary ballets in a professional company, and offers an environment of growth for artists of all levels. Dancers are selected for the company through open auditions, which occur at scheduled intervals during the year. The company is based at the North Jersey School of Dance Arts in Hackettstown. In addition to the yearly production of The Nutcracker, NJCYB members have the opportunity to perform in innovative new works. In September, NJCYB danced a program geared to young audiences, titled Three Little Ballets. The program included original choreography set to the classic children’s pieces, Carnival of the Animals and Peter and the Wolf, as well as a new piece, The Magic Time Tunnel, choreographed by dancer/choreographer Elisabeth Holowchuk and NJCYB’s artistic director, Christine Taylor. This narrated piece, which presented a timeline of dance beginning with the earliest tribal dances to today’s hip-hop, was an instant favorite, particularly with the youngest audience members. Performances of The Nutcracker will be held at noon and 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4, at the Mt. Olive Middle School Theater on Wolfe Road in Mt. Olive. Tickets, $18 ($12 for seniors and children age 12 and under). Reduced rates are available for groups of 20 or more. For information, call 908-850-0709 or visit online at njsda.org.