top of page

Our Teachers

Christen E. McCuiston

Founder & Director

Ballet, Lyrical/Jazz, Worship & International

Christen McCuiston was born and raised in Roane County, Tennessee. Her dance experience began in 1991 when she was six years old, and she quickly fell in love with the joy and beauty of dancing with the heart and purpose of worshiping and glorifying her Savior. She grew up performing with the Knoxville-based Christian dance company, For Zion's Sake, where she had the opportunity to perform locally, nationally, and internationally on a regular basis. In 2004 she was invited to begin teaching for the same dance school she had grown up in (Bezalel School), and a passion for sharing the gift of dance with others was ignited within her that continues today. Since 2004 Christen has taught dance classes for all age groups for various dance studios and homeschool cooperatives in Knox, Blount, Loudon, and Cumberland Counties. She also filled the role as assistant director for the For Zion's Sake Christian dance company from 2004-2018, served as the assistant director of Lighthouse Artistic Ministries from 2011-2012, and was the director of Bezalel School of International Dance & Pageantry from 2017-2019.  She is trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, and international styles of folk dancing. She has received training through Ballet Magnificat's Summer Teacher Intensives and regularly continues her education as a dance instructor throughout the year. Because Christen is passionate about injury prevention, she traveled to Colorado in 2016 and completed multiple levels of injury-prevention training intensives taught by the well-known Australian Dance Physiotherapist, Lisa Howell. Her degree includes a concentration in Exercise Science as a continuation of her education and interest in anatomy, physiology, strength training/conditioning, and injury prevention. In 2020, she was given the opportunity to teach dance locally, and after three years of teaching in Roane County, she felt the Lord leading her to open her own  studio after nearly two decades of teaching dance--and Sanctuary Dance Academy began. The name "Sanctuary" was chosen because a sanctuary is a place of worship, and we desire to teach others to use dance as a means of worshiping, rejoicing in, and glorifying our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ (as mentioned in Psalm 149 and 150). Additionally, a sanctuary is a place of refuge, and it is our goal that every student who enters the classroom at Sanctuary Dance Academy will feel encouraged, safe, and loved. We are passionate about using dance to honor God and sharing this gift with children and adults alike!

Mrs. Sarah Borum

Ballet, Pre-Pointe, Pointe

Mrs. Sarah Borum is a Roane County native who began her ballet training at an early age under the instruction of the late Lila Valieva at the Arts in Motion studio in Kingston, Tennessee. She is now a Radford University graduate who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance with a concentration in Classical Ballet/Performance. While there, her ballet training came from Inessa Plekhanova. Throughout college, Sarah also studied modern, jazz, tap, musical theatre, choreography, and methods of teaching. She has had the opportunity to perform in New York City for the Choreographer’s Canvas, as well as
the New York Jazz Choreography Project. While living in Memphis, TN, she performed with Project: Motion Modern Dance Collective, and then became a
company member of Tennessee Ballet Theatre. Here she continued her extensive Vaganova [Russian ballet style] ballet training and was a featured soloist in the ballet  "Les Sylphides," and also was a soloist as the Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, and the Harlequin Doll in the ballet, "The Nutcracker." While with this company, she also had exciting opportunities to perform at several different historical landmarks across the city, bringing the stories of these buildings to life through various styles of dance. After moving back to East Tennessee, Sarah taught ballet, pointe, and tap for a year at Studio Arts for Dancers in Knoxville. While with this studio, she also performed with their company, "Go! Contemporary Dance Works." After this, she stepped into her favorite role yet--motherhood! After a few years off the dance
floor, Sarah is thrilled to step back into teaching with Sanctuary Dance Academy. She has always felt a calling to combine her love for the Lord with her love for dance. Sanctuary provides the perfect environment to follow God’s leading to fulfill this dream.

bottom of page