What She Looks Like: Regina Peluso, Artistic Director/Choreographer

I first noticed Regina Peluso on social media talking about a grant her company recently received to cover childcare. Since that first connection, I have had an absolute blast getting to know her and her passion for performing artists, especially parents in the theatre and dance world. Since then, she’s become the Minneapolis rep for PAAL – Parent Artist Advocacy League for the Performing Arts and will be heading up the PAAL events for the twin cities parents this fall. She not only dedicates her time to her children and her career, she also steers the ship of her own theatrical dance company, COLLIDE.

Regina exemplifies what it means not only to be a parent artist making it work, but also as a collaborative innovator wanting to make the system work for other parents as well. Read below for her inspiring perspective and fundraising for childcare. I get so pumped reading about this brilliant performing mama in a leadership position. She’s just getting started and already changing the game!

“The future of theater depends on our ability to build community and foster a younger generation of theater patrons and aficionados.”
Regina Peluso, Choreographer/Artistic Director COLLIDE THEATRICAL DANCE COMPANY


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Regina Peluso – Choreographer/Artistic Director

NAME: Regina Peluso

PROFESSION: Artistic Director/Choreographer

STATUS: Daughter Philamena recently turned 2 and son Branning is 6 months

What SURPRISED/SURPRISES you about having a child and working your performing arts life:

So many things! I had no idea how much my life would change becoming a parent.  My priorities have shifted focus. As I am so grateful to be a mother, I do not want to miss out on a single moment, but struggle (as we all do) to find balance as an artist. Prior to children I would devote most of my free time to working on my craft, and now as a mother of two very little ones I barely have time to shower. I have been floored by the price of childcare for two children, making my work as a freelance choreographer and newly founded Artistic Director of a non-profit near impossible.  

What EXCITED/EXCITES you about having a child and working your performing arts life:

I recently won a grant that allows my dance company to offer free childcare during our Company Dance classes. We are lucky to have office and class space in The Ritz Theater in northeast Minneapolis, and I converted my office and smaller dance studio space into a childcare room. It is a gift to be able to bring my children to a theater twice a week. After our Company Class, the children routinely join us in the dance studio for their turn to run around and play “freeze dance”. The joy on my daughters face as she creatively explores with her new friends is outstanding. 

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Collide Theatrical Dance Company Children in the Space

Our annual fundraiser raised funds for a “Dance Moms” fund that provides free childcare for all our artist parents during rehearsal. I hope to continue to grow this program. There is a wealth of talent in the Twin Cities who formerly worked in New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles-but moved to Minneapolis to raise a family. Keeping the work of the artists alive is essential. Bob Fosse always said he loved working with older dancers because “they have soul”. Losing these dance moms from our stages and from our company would be a huge loss for the community. But, our artists are paid an hourly rate for rehearsals that is equal or less than what many of us pay for childcare. In addition, paying taxes on childcare on top of that increases the incentive for women in all fields to forgo working until their children are in school.

What CHALLENGED/CHALLENGES you about having a child and working your performing arts life:  

I founded a non-profit dance company in 2013. Like many entrepreneurs founding a start-up, I have not taken home a paycheck due to lack of resources. We have been able survive on our ticket sales (which is a huge gift) and a small pool of private donors, but funding from foundation grants is not realistic before we hit our 5-year mark, government grants take a lot of time to write and are highly competitive, and individual donor cultivation entails the building of relationships over time. I am blessed to have a very supporting husband with a stable job, and have made other income through teaching dance and booking acting work. However, now if I want to work for my company, it comes with a childcare expense. While I do not want to give up the work I have started, I struggle to not pull my family down in the process to keep the company growing.

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Collide Theatrical Dance Company – Childcare Joy

What you LOOK FORWARD to having a child and working your performing arts life:

I want to inspire and foster creativity, strength, perseverance, service and empathy in both of my children.  A life in Arts teaches you these gifts. I also think it is essential to have parents who work for what they believe in and makes them happy even though it entails some sacrifice. Additionally, I believe that it is more important now than ever that women are seen in leadership roles. I want to set a strong example for my daughter. The future of theater depends on our ability to build community and foster a younger generation of theater patrons and aficionados. Whether my children choose an artist’s life, I hope a love and appreciation of theater and dance follows them through adulthood.


Wow. I am so moved by her heart for moms who create. I couldn’t feel more kinship. If you’re in Minneapolis, I hope you get a chance to check out and connect with this fierce mama artist.

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Regina Peluso – Choreographer/Artistic Director

Great Quotes from Regina:

“After our Company Class, the children routinely join us in the dance studio for their turn to run around and play “freeze dance”. The joy on my daughters face as she creatively explores with her new friends is outstanding.”

– Regina Poluso, Choreographer/Artistic Director

“Bob Fosse always said he loved working with older dancers because ‘they have soul’ Losing these dance moms from our stages and from our company would be a huge loss for the community.”

– Regina Poluso, Choreographer/Artistic Director

“The future of theater depends on our ability to build community and foster a younger generation of theater patrons and aficionados. Whether my children choose an artist’s life, I hope a love and appreciation of theater and dance follows them through adulthood.”

– Regina Poluso, Choreographer/Artistic Director


More profiles coming soon!

If you are or you know a performing artist professional and mom who wants to share thoughts, answer these questions and shoot them to me at this contact form!

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