Today we’re very excited to welcome the newest member of the Gator Club, the super duper Maia Heward-Mills. Maia is a very talented actress and dancer and has achieved some fantastic accolades considering she’s still only 9 years old.
Maia started dancing at just 2.5 years old when her dance teacher recognised she had a talent that was worth pursuing. Shortly after she turned 4 years old, Maia joined Stagecoach and subsequently performed in many of their productions, including being selected to play “Michael” in Mary Poppins.
Last year she was spotted by an agency, and since then Maia has continued to grow in her much-loved dance and performing. To date, Maia has featured in a Legoland commercial, a Lego photoshoot, performed in the pantomime Cinderella at Epsom Playhouse with a gruelling 23 performances. She also recently got one of the main parts in a music video and managed to rope the whole family into doing a Cadbury’s Easter commercial! On top of this Maia does 5 hours of dance a week, has singing lessons, is learning the piano and has just got into the squad at her local gymnastics club! Maia is one busy girl, but in the words of her mum “she still wants to do more!!”.
We recently caught up with Maia’s mum, Gemma, to get the low down on how she manages Maia’s super schedule as well as balancing family life with her brother Jenson. It’s great to hear that since the family have had the Gator watch on board, they’ve found communicating much more manageable. Maia can get a bit anxious if mum is stuck in traffic and running behind schedule, so it’s very reassuring for them all to be able to keep in touch in these situations. She’s also had some fun calling mum from school with mini updates on what’s for lunch!
Maia’s passion is dancing and performing, and her schedule keeps her busy six days a week, as a mum, she’s happy that Maia has found her passion, and in her words it helps her feel confident that the teenage years will be “less about screen time and more about keeping active and sociable away from social media”. We’re also pleased to hear that Maia has a backup plan – if performing doesn’t work out she’s going to be a lawyer. Smart girl!
When’s Maia’s not rehearsing and performing (or at school!) she loves nothing more than reading – David Walliams’ books are her current favourites and really help her to wind down in the evening. Gemma describes Maia’s personality as sparky, “she’s full of energy and life and really is a natural performer”.
When we asked Maia’s mum what advice she’d give to parents who’d like to support their children in pursuing their passion she said be supportive, “help them follow their own interests rather than yours, and keep praising as they’ll always be a bad session at dance practice or an audition that went wrong”.
Hats off to Gemma, as a team of parents ourselves, we feel truly inspired by her commitment and ability to help her children build resilience. The team at My Gator Watch can’t wait to follow her on her journey.