Andrei Toader, 15, is from Timisoara. Mia Holden, who was born in Manchester, is one year younger

Mia and Andrei

/ September 3, 2017

This is the story of two of the most promising DanceSport Athletes in the world. The pair has been dancing together since 2015 and after only six weeks of training, they won the English National Championships. They seem to have an unexplainable chemistry and exceptional rapport.

On the surface, Andrei’s dancing credentials were not extraordinary. Three years ago, Andrei did not qualify for the Romanian National Championships in either the International Standard (slow waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, slow fox or quick step) or the International Latin (samba, cha-cha, rumba, paso doble, or jive).

His parents began asking questions, but a judge told Andrei’s father that with an intense training regime, coupled with a strong partner who could bring out his talent, Andrei would make it big.

Shortly after the encouragement, his father, Ovidiu Toader, received a friend request on Facebook from an English woman. On her Facebook profile, there was a picture of a dancer.

It was Maxine, Mia Holden’s mother. She was searching for a partner for her daughter.

Maxine’s Facebook message stated:

“Mia has great parental support. We are willing to consider every option for the right partner. No issues with travel for lessons/practice.

Mia is a very well-loved dancer and is a joy to work with. She is hardworking, respectful and passionate about her dancing.”

Ovidiu Toader contacted Mia’s mother: “What are your thoughts on having a Romanian boy as a partner?”

Maxine requested a video documenting the evolution of Andrei’s dance performances over the years. Once the video arrived, it took Maxine just one hour to message Ovidiu her response, “I’d do anything for Andrei”

It was March 2015 and Andrei had not yet turned 13. Over the next 3 weeks, hundreds of messages between the parents ensued, attempting to establish the conditions under which Andrei could move to Manchester. It seemed impossible, until the Toader family accepted Maxine’s invitation to spend a few days in England.

The first meeting between Mia and Andrei was remarkable, almost magical. Before the two 12 year olds spoke a word to each other, they greeted each other with a short dance. As Ovidiu Toader puts it, “a spell fell upon them.”

“They did a trial run of a few dances together. I was overwhelmed. Both Mia’s mother and I had tears of joy in our eyes because they fit together so perfectly. It seemed as if they had been training together from the beginning of time,” recounts Andrei’s father.

Next, the pros and cons of moving their 12 year old so far from home hit the Toader family. “It’s too harsh, too early, how will he adapt to this new life so far away from home?”

Initially, Andrei hesitated at the thought of moving to England. How could he leave his friends behind? But after awhile, he calmly announced that his

passion for dance was stronger than anything else. As a result, the Holden family emptied out a room and the young Romanian boy moved in. Maxine Holden registered him as a foster child so that

he could have access to free education. Andrei’s parents visit him once a month and on vacation. They also provide him financial support for his training and other expenses.

Maxine found a well-known couple from the Stars of the Albion International Festival to help sponsor Mia and Andrei. A simple tailcoat can cost up to 1,000 British Pounds.

The epicenter of ballroom dance in Great Britain is in Blackpool, 80 kilometers away from Manchester. Mia and Andrei train there five days a week and participate in competitions on a weekly basis.

Their dream is to become World Champions. For the not so immediate future, Andrei has plans to open his own dance studio. For now, they share the same roof and the same hopes.

Mia and Andrei will soon appear on national television in an eight-week TV series about young dancers in Great Britain.

“Two years ago, I could have never imagined that Andrei would be the National Champion of England or that he would grow up there. And now, we have no idea what the future will bring as a result of Brexit.

I like to believe that we’ll nd solutions and adapt to whatever the future throws our way, and we’ll be happy doing so. Mia and Andrei are a great t for one another, with a special spark between the two of them. We will nd joy in whatever comes our way.” say Ovidiu Toader.