Competitive dancer goes from Apex to study in London

APEX, N.C. (WTVD) -- Apex graduate Megan Bader started her college career with two weeks of quarantine and is now bracing for lockdown in London. Thankfully, the competitive dancer can work on her craft anywhere, even in COVID-19 times.

When the family relocated from Maryland to Apex, the nearly 4-year-old Megan was sure of one thing. She didn't want to miss her dance recital.

"We actually ended up going back to Maryland for my first dance recital after we had already moved to North Carolina," she recalled.

Realizing how important dance is to Megan, her mom signed her up at the Academy for the Performing Arts, and she's been getting the wiggles out there ever since.

"I started out in recreational classes and then in kindergarten, they introduced the competitive program, and my mom was like 'oh yeah, sure'; she really didn't know what she was getting into," Megan said.

Weekdays were soon filled with practice bookended by weekends full of competition.

"Over the years I found that it really allows me to communicate in a successful way even when words may be hard," she said. "Also I just love that it never stops. There's no end."

A journey that began in kindergarten passed through Apex Friendship High School touching all the dance styles along the way. Now, dance is a desired profession and has Megan studying at the London Contemporary Dance School.

"I really am interested in the performance route and then also really interested in choreographing and collaborating with other artists and that kind of thing," she said.

A hip injury almost derailed her dream. While competing during her junior year, Megan had surgery on a torn labrum. The time away reaffirming her passion for the art.

"It's comforting to me to have dance and to be able to always come back to it," she said. "Movement is really comforting and self-care to me."

Her studies at the conservatory last for three years -- hopefully not all of it during a pandemic. If that's the case, she said dancing provides her with a needed escape.
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