Shows like Toddlers & Tiaras and Dance Moms show that stage mothers make for great reality television. But we’ve seen few as determined as Maxine Holden. As revealed in the docuseries Baby Ballroom, now on Netflix, Maxine couldn’t find a dance partner for her daughter Mia, so she flew in a talented Romanian named Andrei Toader — and basically became his foster mom.
“If you’d asked me four years ago if I’d consider having a boy living with me, I’d have laughed and said, ‘Are you mad?’” Maxine told the Daily Mail last year. But desperate times called for desperate measures, and when Maxine couldn’t find someone suitable for Mia to dance with near their home in England, she turned to Facebook. Andrei’s father responded to her ad and asked Maxine if she’d consider “a Romanian boy.” After a video of Andrei’s moves impressed Maxine, she had him fly to the United Kingdom so she could see if the then tweens had any chemistry. They turned out to be the perfect combination.
Before long, Andrei left his home in Romania and moved in with the Holdens — even though the then-12-year-old was essentially a stranger. As of April, Andrei had been living with the family for two years, and Maxine cooks and cares for him as if he were Mia’s brother. “He was so quiet at first,” the mom shared. “He never talked. Now he’s Mr. Chatterbox … It’s just like having a son. When he went home for Christmas, we really missed him.”
With the U.K.’s Brexit from the European Union, though, the Holdens were worried about Mia and Andrei’s future. “You’ll either have to marry Mia or I’ll have to adopt you,” Maxine joked.
Even without that anxiety, the ballroom life isn’t an easy one for the Baby Ballroom stars or their parents. Rehearsals can last as long as 12 hours, and parents can shell out thousands every year on costumes and travel.
Still, the stressors, the expenses, and the unconventional living arrangements all seem to have been worth it for Mia, Andrei, and their parents. At the time of the Daily Mail article, the dancing duo had been crowned the British champions in their age group, and were well on their way to winning the world championships. We'll have to keep an eye on these two!