Growing up, Caleb Armstong spent a lot of time with Beyonce, Janet, and other pop stars. Equipped with his first MP3 player at age nine, he soon discovered his love for dance. He spent much of his free time listening to music and dancing alone in his room. With “Crazy In Love” and “All For You” on repeat, he found dancing to be a safe space for him to be his true self. 

As a gay black man, growing up was not easy. “All my life, I’ve had to be a censored, watered-down version of myself.” He found that through dance and movement, he could begin to connect to his inner self. As he grew older, he was drawn to theater. In 2019, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from The University of Mississippi with a concentration in choreography. As his interest in body movement grew, he began taking classes in yoga. He soon became certified to teach Buti Yoga in 2022 and did so at Sana Yoga In Memphis from 2021 to 2022. In September 2022, he was invited to teach a class at the Memphis Rox Yoga Festival. 

He recalls being assigned to the last class of the day in the pouring rain. Full of discouragement and doubting if he would have anyone in his class, Caleb taught anyway. “The festival was occurring around the time of Eliza Fletcher’s disappearance. It was a heavy time for everyone, and at the end of class, everyone was crying in the pouring rain, releasing their stored pain.” After leading this immensely cathartic moment, Caleb realized just how much power his passion could possess and embraced the next opportunity that came along. 

After a routine cardio dance class, Caleb’s instructor approached him about teaching a few classes of his own. He’s been teaching cardio dance for two years now at Mind Body Haus. With the freedom to make the classes his own, he chooses songs with lyrics that have subliminal affirmations and allows his students creative freedom around the core movements. “I want students to be comfortable enough to add their own flair, to bring their problems with them, and release them into the movement to release their inner warrior.” 

At 27, Caleb lives a life centered around leading with authenticity and visibility. “I want to be myself in all facets. My class allows me to share myself with others and vice versa. Dance allows us to break through the structure and distraction of the world around us and intentionally show up for ourselves.” Dance is synonymous with freedom for Caleb — freedom from social stigma, inner pain, and daily struggles. He uses his experiences to help others gain this type of freedom and sets an example for his students by living boldly according to one important truth: “You are the choreographer of your own life.” 

Caleb teaches cardio dance every Thursday night at Mind Body Haus at 7:15 pm.