Casie Millhouse-Singh, the Founder of LeelaPass, is also a renowned gymnast coach who wants to break the Guinness World Record for Most Handstands Performed by a Group on International Handstand Day (IHD).
Gymnastics is derived from a Greek word which means “to exercise naked”, and Casie says a huge misconception of gymnastics is that people often think it is hard.
She elaborates, “When you think of exercising naked, you think of sex. Just about everyone can have sex, so it seems silly to me that people think gymnastics is hard. When we were born naked, we learnt how to move and exercise outside of the womb for the very first time. This was a learned skill that was acquired through kinesthetic learning.”
That’s certainly a unique perspective of looking at gymnastics!
Doyenne: Why did you learn gymnastics?
Casie: Back in 1984, I saw Mary Lou Retton win the Olympic Gold in gymnastics. Like millions of young girls around the globe, I wanted to be just like her.
My mother then signed me up for a class, and at four years old, I started to compete. By 12 years old, I had trophies and medals from winning competitions across the United States.
D: What’s the most challenging move you’ve ever attempted?
C: When I was younger, I could never learn how to do a darn Cody (a trampoline trick) on the trampoline. It’s a skill where you bounce off your stomach and do a complete backwards flip in the air.
Recently, I’ve been struggling with a press to handstand from a seated position. I must train harder and stop making excuses!
D: Besides handstands and gymnastics, LeelaPass also helps parents find and develop their children’s talent.
C: The best time to source and develop talent is when there is interest. There needs to be an intrinsic motivation to do something.
I believe it takes hard work to develop talent. However, people tend to think that you are born with it. Everyone has gifts they are born with, but talent is actually something that can be developed over time.
D: Can adults take up gymnastics too?
C: Gymnastics is known for its ability to teach body awareness, discipline, and self-confidence in children and adults. Head over to The Yard and they’ll hook you up!
“When you really want something to happen, the whole universe will conspire so that your wish comes true.”
D: How did you know about International Handstand Day (IHD)?
C: I see all these awesome days being celebrated around the globe like “Hug A Friend Day” or “Best Friends Day”. I knew there had to be something related to handstands, so I googled and found it!
I immediately emailed Alvin Tam, the Founder of IHD who is also an ex-Cirque du Soleil performer, yoga studio owner, and amazing filmmaker. We agreed to make 2016 the biggest year ever for IHD, and we have been blessed with the positive responses thus far. IHD has already hit a million impressions per week (I geek out on the data)!
“The best time to source and develop talent is when there is interest. There needs to be an intrinsic motivation to do something.”
D: Why did you decide to break the Guinness World Record for Most Handstands Performed by a Group on IHD?
C: Firstly, I like to break records! Secondly, handstands are just fun to most people but to me, it’s about finding one’s destiny.
I wanted to do something to celebrate my transition from becoming an employee to an entrepreneur. I was a gymnastics coach for two decades, then I met my husband when I did a handstand.
It’s really the simple act of doing a handstand that got me here in Singapore, with two kids and an amazing husband who stands by my side.
It is also amazing to see the community give back and support each other. I’ve been sending our ambassadors around the globe little handmade tokens of appreciation, and selling t-shirts to raise funds for a friend’s rehabilitation after her fall.
Images by Casie Millhouse-Singh
International Handstand Day 2016 – Singapore World Record Attempt wants to engage “handstand-ers” for a good cause as they balance diversity with strength to make the world a better place. Why not join them, turn yourself upside down and maybe turn the world around?