Canton girl, 11, sets up Cut-a-Rug workshop and show to help children with cancer

Darlene A. White
Special to The Detroit News

After coping with the stress of the coronavirus pandemic, an 11-year-old is on a mission to bring happiness back into the world by raising money for children in need.

“I want to help people and give back somehow,” Kadence Gilbert, 11 of Canton said.

Last year, when businesses and schools began to shut down due to the pandemic restrictions, Kadence was forced to attend school virtually and do her class work from home. For almost a year, she was also unable to perform with her competitive dance team for the fear of spreading COVID-19.

Kadence Gilbert, 11, of Canton is raising money for Maggie's Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan.

After months of being quarantined, Kadence got an idea to create her own charity event in hopes of helping others.

Terry Gilbert said his daughter, Kadence, is a dancer with an old soul.

“After such a depressing past year in which most dance studios were forced to shut down for so long, she wanted to do something big,” he said. “She wanted to do something to bring happiness to everyone in the form of helping people. I contacted Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan, one of my contacts that I help through my business, and that’s how that organization got picked as the charity to help.”

Kadence and her father came up with the event name and calls it, Cut-a-Rug Against Cancer.

The purpose: To raise money to help children who are struggling with hair loss from pediatric cancer.

“My sister, who owns the Dance Academy in Westland, is allowing my daughter and some of her dance team to put on a free dance workshop for any kids in the surrounding community to come do something fun and positive, with the help of the professional teachers of course,” Terry explained.

After the dance workshop, the following day, Aug. 8, will be the show day. All the children who learned to dance on Saturday will get to perform what they learned on a stage at Tattan Park in Westland. Stylist will also be onsite cutting hair that will get donated to Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan. A raffle to raise money for the organization will be taking place that day. There will also be a special appearance from the Detroit Pistons dancers and mascot, Hooper. They will both be on-site signing autographs and creating a fun atmosphere for all to enjoy. 

“My goal for the event is to help people learn about dance and help other children with cancer,” said Kadence.

Its so important to give back to others, she said.

“It cheers the people up that needed help and makes me feel good too,” she said.

Terry says he is looking forward to that one special moment during the two-day event.

“In the middle of all the fun that will be taking place, there will be a moment,” he said. “Everyone there will acknowledge what Wigs 4 Kids is doing for these children every day while we are going about our busy lives.  They will have an opportunity to help, and you will see hundreds of people come together, uniting with one purpose. When a human being stops for a moment and helps someone else, there is a little bit of healing that takes place in them as well.  When that happens it will be beautiful, great things will happen both for the children that are in need, and in the hearts of the people.”

Cut-A-Rug Against Cancer

a fundraiser for Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan

For hair donations to Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan, volunteers can preregister at

For more information, call (734) 425-1478.