The Calgary Journal
The Calgary Journal

High Performance Rodeo exhibit challenges comfort zones and children’s roles in society

abass copyFor Abass Garad Gure, 11, cutting hair was something he’d never thought of doing. But after a crash course into the world of hairstyling and donning the title of ‘hair stylist’ for a weekend, he’s considering the career choice.

“I never thought cutting hair would be this much fun,” says the fifth grader.

The fifth grade class at Abbeydale Elementary partnered up with Mammalian Diving Reflex, Swallow a Bicycle Theatre and the High Performance Rodeo to present Haircuts by Children.

Hair Cuts by Children is exactly what it sounds like, kids giving haircuts to adults. The event began as a performance piece by the Toronto-based company Mammalian Diving Reflex.

After 10 years, the show has gone global and has been featured in cities from London to Tasmania. The child stylists are trained by professionals before the event, which is free to participate in and watch.

“It really is amazing in how (the show) gives (kids) confidence in terms of skills but also in terms of interpersonal relationships, and meeting new people,” says Jenna Winter, managing director and artistic associate of Mammalian Diving Reflex.

After two days of hard work, Garad Gure says that his favourite part was shaving the heads of some especially brave adults and “giving sick styles.”

Garad Gure says that he hopes that more adults take children more seriously. His advice to anyone who wants to do something is to just “go ahead and do it.”

“If someone else says don’t do it, don’t care what they say. Care about yourself.”

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The editor responsible for this article is Stefan Strangman who can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.