Dancing to heal: Veteran offers salsa dancing socials

Dancing to heal: Veteran starts salsa dancing socials

Dancing is healing, that is what one Albuquerque veteran will tell you. When he came home, he discovered the positive effect hosting salsa dancing classes and socials has on himself and others.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Dancing is not just good for your physical health but also your mental health.

“Being able to dance, you know, it keeps you it keeps your mind busy,” said Gabriel Ogaldez, the owner of On the One Latin Dance Promotions.

Aside from keeping Ogaldez busy, dance was a step toward healing for him.

“I am a veteran of the US Armed Forces, 22 years in the military, and having a very stressful job. Going through a very difficult time in my life, I was looking for an out. I was looking for a way to relieve depression, anxiety, stress and PTSD,” he said.

For Ogaldez, dance was the answer. After taking a few lessons, it was clear there were options to learn salsa dancing.

“But there weren’t a lot of venues that provided a place for people to go dance,” he said.

Ogaldez didn’t miss a beat. He started “On the One Latin Dance Promotions” to bring the community together through dance.

First, he needed a venue.

“I initiated by creating marketing proposals and going to different venues that I felt would be good places to hold these salsa dances that provide safety, that provide solace, that provide a place for people to come dance and feel comfortable about it,” he said.

Ogaldez then met DJ Gabriel Goza, who had taken over the turntables for these socials.

“When I play music, it’s to transmit healing frequencies. It’s to create unity and to induce joy. So whenever you’re at our events, that’s what that’s what you expect,” Ogaldez said.

Sobremesa Brewery and the Q Bar Lounge at Hotel Albuquerque opened their doors for these socials. People can socialize and even learn some moves from local dance instructors.

“I love that it is a place to destress. It’s a place to fully escape the world because we all have stressful lives. This is the one night of the week that we can take a step back,” one eventgoer said.

Almost every week, there are events where people can not only dance salsa and other Latin dances. People can also learn the basics of dancing and its health benefits.

“We’re not a nightclub, we’re not a place to come get drunk and cause problems. We’re not a place where there are fights. On the One Latin Dance Promotions is a place of solace, a place of safety, and a place of peace,” Ogaldez stated.

Just like the dance that brought him peace Ogaldez hopes to keep doing that for others for may years to come.

During the events, On the One offers free Uber rides to anyone who may need them.

If you’d like to learn more about On the One and their events, click here.