Adge Marziano speaks in East Coast speed with a bona fide smile that never leaves her lips. In her life, she feels she has much to be happy and thankful for. Adge would be using her hands fully as part of her expressive Italian-American mannerisms if she weren’t cradling her miracle baby daughter—the doctors said she’d never be able to have.
“I was this past Vinotok’s Harvest Mother,” Adge says proudly of the well-loved, uniquely Crested Butte celebration. “I never thought I would actually be the Harvest Mother because I was not supposed to even be able to get pregnant on a physical and medical level but I started doing intensive acupuncture when faced with a medical scenario that came up in the fall 2013,” she explains. A short time later an ultra sound showed the little bubble that became Galena Mabon, auspiciously born at 10:10 a.m. on exactly the autumnal equinox and during a new moon. Mabon is the name given to the ancient autumnal equinox yearly thanksgiving celebration that falls towards the end of September.
Adge was born in the Philly area, where she claims, “I was full-on East Coast girl. It’s where a lot of my drive comes from, that fast-paced lifestyle of having to go for what you want because of the competition. Not that I feel I’m competitive but you have to have drive.”
Adge’s childhood fun was mostly spent on the New Jersey shore. “At the shore, we were total beach bummies,” she grins. “All my first jobs, summer jobs, were down there. We surfed, looked for shells, and got in trouble.”
She began as a tiny dancer, at a very young two-and-a-half years old, when she and her mom happened to walk by a studio. Adge was mesmerized by the movement. “I wanted to go in and watch and then, that was it, I wanted to dance. There was no stopping me!” she says. Her mother signed her up right there. “Dancing was my life growing up,” she recalls, and throughout her teens she traveled and competed before graduating from high school in 1999.
Ever since a childhood summer trip to Colorado, Adge was enamored of its mountainous beauty. “I had the map of Colorado on my wall throughout high school. I had taken the ski lift that year in Keystone and Breckenridge and there was snow at the top and I was blown away. I thought, I need to live in a place where there’s snow.”
After her first year at Arcadia University in Philadelphia, and after a summer, fall, and into the winter working at the Jersey shore, in early January she and a friend packed up the car and started driving. “I didn’t know where exactly but I knew I was going to Colorado.
There, she earned an associate’s degree in science, before transferring to CSU to finish with a bachelor of science degree in anthropology and geology in 2005. That was the summer she decided to move to Crested Butte.
“When I was in college I dated a guy who grew up in Crested Butte so we’d come up and visit. I knew I was going to live here,” she says. Adge immediately offered herself as a babysitter because, she laughs, “I knew I wasn’t going to get an anthropology job up here. And boy, that was just a miracle,” she says of all the babysitting jobs, “because what a way to enter Crested Butte. I was getting to know all the families and that’s the crux of what this place is, the families, the children. It became apparent to me that I wanted to teach here.”
Furthering her education, Adge received her master’s degree in special education through the University of Phoenix, then worked for three years in Kersey, Colo., in a special education classroom specifically for emotionally disabled kids. She felt it was a big part of her calling.
“I felt that on this cognitive and conscious level, these kids were so capable of being a powerful force but life had just beaten them down and they had to figure out that link of how to turn it around and put it into that positive force,” she determined. “They had so much energy. It was the coolest classroom. I was trying to reach them on their level, working on things with tools like writing rap songs together, talking about football, putting their education in their hands and having them feel ownership over it because they’re not going to fit in the system and that’s why they were always failing. It was a very outside-the-box classroom. It was much more creative to be able to do that sort of interaction with children.”
While teaching special education in both the Gunnison and Crested Butte schools, Adge signed up to take an advanced jazz dance class at the Crested Butte School of Dance.
When her dance teacher decided to leave the country to travel, Heidi Frazier, a co-founder of the school, called to ask if Adge would like to teach the advanced jazz class. “I was ecstatic. It dawned on me right then that I had always wanted to be a teacher and had always danced but had never made the connection that eventually I would teach dance. I already had a lot of kids that I had babysat who were in the class. I had always used movement in my special ed classes because I felt that getting them up and moving was therapeutic,” she notes.
It was 2006 and her dance instruction snowballed. “The next season I was on the schedule teaching several classes and from there it just kept going. When Heidi left I became the program director and then this year I became the executive director,” she says.
Five years ago Adge co-founded, with KT Folz, Joan Grant and Nicole Blazer, the Crested Butte Dance Collective. “We came together to put a community dance performance together, called Move the Butte. It was going to be all adults, Crested Butte School of Dance and set it apart. Anybody could do it and it’s more talent show style. After that first show, we realized the positive impact it had on people’s lives. We just knew we had a little nugget that needed to be fostered.”
The Crested Butte Center for the Arts became their fiscal partner, as an umbrella group. “Things boomed out of that,” Adge explains. With Joan running the aerial program, KT with her ecstatic dance improv background and her own background in technique, directing and production, their combined skills worked to create an all inclusive dance entity of the perfect combination. “Move the Butte is really the crux—it happens every winter and it’s really strong. The aerial program happens throughout the year and some of our aerial artists also get hired to do specific events like weddings, parties, and even the Red Lady Salvation Ball.”
For several years now, Adge has also taught dance through the Collective for the Adaptive Sports Center. “Some groups are regulars and come every winter, like the Roger Pepper group, who are burn victims. They love hip hop. We use the aerial equipment once in a while for some of the groups and to be physically disabled and then to essentially fly… I go home in tears sometimes. I’m so inspired by them. They have this positive attitude and there’s teamwork within the group. It magically all wraps together for me. Between my special education background and passion for dance, I feel blessed to get to gift this thing of movement.”
Adge points out that her main focus is the Crested Butte School of Dance “It’s what I really do, I teach classes through there. I started the Crested Butte Dance Company as well, which is part of the school but different. It gives my dedicated dancers more of an opportunity to get dance experience outside of Crested Butte. We go to conventions and college expos all over and we’ve competed. We do more performances. I want them to feel prepared to try out for a college dance company or to be ready to continue their dance education,” Adge says of her goals for her students.
As for her mommy-hood and husband, Adge notes, “I was never going to get married, never have a real job, never have a baby and never own a home and within one year, every single one of those things happened. I decided, okay, I surrender!” She laughs at the turn of events. She met her hubby, Rob Lindsey, at a party that she and KT threw in 2008 and he moved in as a roommate before they were even dating. Since they were on opposite schedules, they never saw each other. That eventually changed, they went out on a date and the rest is history.
Since becoming a mom, Adge started a group for mothers and moms-to-be called The Blessing Way, which is a Lakota term for a ceremony of birthing mothers. “I just wanted to be with women who are pregnant to talk about our real experiences and not get caught up in a lot of fear media about pregnancy. We get together, start with a meditation, and we’ll talk about everything from the spiritual aspect of pregnancy to vaccinations. We’re totally supportive of each other.”
In the time between dancing, projects and everything else, Adge is like everyone else who chooses to live in this town. “I love to ski, Nordic and alpine, I fly fish, play guitar and sing,” and she feels strongly that she was meant to be in nature. “I climbed the one and only tree in Philly as a kid. And I’m not one of those locals who get pissed off when we have a hard spring or not such a big powder winter or if we have a rainy summer. What are you gonna do about it? I still love it here. What’s cool about Crested Butte is, if you really want to do something and you go for it, and you have the passion, I really feel you can manifest your own dream in this little community. I’m so grateful all the time… I feel really lucky.”