Driven to Dance

Showcasing Rocklin grad Meghan Atherton’s experience with dance


More stories from Chloe Entrican

Carnival of Connections
October 20, 2021

Atherton pictured second from the left, courtesy of Meghan Atherton

“Dance is such a freeing feeling. Whenever I have a bad day, I have dance to fall back on and I know it will make me feel better because you can just dance through all of your emotion,” shared senior Meghan Atherton, expressing the passion behind her decision to attend Rocklin High School for the last two weeks.

Instead of going home early like most of the other seniors (due to the distanced last two weeks to prepare for graduation), Atherton decided to stay on campus to fulfill her obligation as a student director in Dance IV. With the end of the year approaching fast, Atherton was working on her final dance project. “It would be kind of hard if I wasn’t here and I was at home, trying to learn my dance and everything. Also, trying to be a student director from home really wouldn’t work,” she shares. Atherton believes that there was no point in staying at home when, at school, she has more time with her dancers and the students. 

As an added plus, Atherton was fully vaccinated, meaning that it was safe for her to remain on campus and she didn’t have to worry about being asked to quarantine the the case that she had close contact with a COVID-19 positive student.

When first finding out the news that seniors were going to have to quarantine for the last two weeks, Atherton was disappointed. “As a senior, we haven’t got that much school this year as it is. This is the last couple of weeks we are gonna get, like actually at the school, so I didn’t want to miss out on that or have it taken away from me,” explains Atherton. 

While Atherton was glad that they made the decision optional, it was upsetting for her that not all of her friends were there with her. “I am pretty much alone because all my friends are at home. I am pretty much in the dance room the whole time,” she states. However, despite most of the seniors being gone, Atherton was still able to spend time with some of the other students on campus. “I’m friends with a lot of underclassmen so I just hang out with them in dance before I go to my one academic class. Then I just go home,” Atherton continues. 

Atherton has mixed feelings about graduation.  “I am really excited for graduation and everything, but I am just sad because I don’t want dance team to be over. It has been such a huge part of my life and it’s gonna be weird not having practice all the time or not being with those people all the time,” she states. Particularly, Atherton is sad that she is leaving and won’t be able to perform as a member of Rocklin High School’s dance team any longer.

In the future, Atherton really wants to be on a college dance team, but doesn’t think that she will go on to a professional level due to her investment in other life goals. “I love dance and I will love it forever, so I really want to be involved with it somehow throughout my life. Just probably not professionally,” Atherton shares.

When asking what she wants to pursue in the future, Atherton revealed her desire to attend film school. “One of the reasons I have loved dance my whole life is because I get to tell stories on stage and act. That’s why I want to try and go into acting,” she explained, “I also love cinematography and being behind the camera, so I want to go to film school so I have that to fall back on if acting doesn’t work out.” Her plan right now is to attend Sierra College and then transfer to UCSB, but this could change. “There are a lot of really amazing film schools, so I am probably going to apply to them all and just see what happens,” Atherton shared. 

Since she will be attending Sierra College next year, Atherton is still planning on staying involved in the Rocklin dance program any way she can.