GATEWAY hotel in IT Expressway was a relatively new property when we started the socials as the Chennai's first exclusive BACHATA night in May 2014!
The idea was to have a workshop for bachata open level, so that anybody could join the class and stay back for the party that goes on till midnight! Raj News covered the first Bachata night! When I informed the community about the new venue, there wasnt much of an excitement as everyone found it far and also middle of the week wasnt the best idea! Of course, its far! Its past the OMR toll gate, near the Sholinganallur Junction! The intention of the night wasnt just to satisfy the already exisiting dance thirsty crowd but to attract new comers into the salsa world and to cater to the whole population living in the entire stretch of OMR and around! The first night had very few people as expected inspite of the coverage by Raj News! The following weeks werent great either!
Wednesday was chosen so that the IT crowd in that area can drop by after work, as weekends as their only free time to attend to their chores and to rest! Gateway was a perfect place and we werent able to somehow reach out to the right audience! Months passed with failed nights with no crowd! I used to drive about 20 km every Wednesday and play for no one to dance for and return back.
But we never gave up! The workshops were fun and the dancing experience even better! There was no reason to stop the night. We just had to wait! My team mates were relentlessly supporting the nights whenever they can and they started to enjoy the music, ambience and the whole dancing on Wednesday experience! With few months into the Bachata Nights, the Kizomba pool parties at the Same venue were getting popular and hence wanted to make it a night for sensual dances focussing more on Bachata and Kizomba!
By May 2015, almost a year since we started the nights are Gateway, it became a very night! I would go with no hope to see dancers but it became crowded every time surprisingly until it wasnt a surprise anymore! The Night was renamed to SWIRL SENSUAL NIGHT, with a bachata open level workshop from 9 to 10 PM with a nominal fee of rs. 300 per person followed by a sensual night with loads of Bachata, Kizomba with a taste of salsa and other afro genres.
The nights are now super crowded week after week, with a new refreshing crowd every week, with people stepping in from all areas around the venue within a 5 to 10 km radius with even regulars coming in from as far as centre of the city! It has taken about a year to really start making sense for the real purpose of reaching out to the crowd in this part of the city. Now we have dancers from all along the stretch of OMR, Adyar in ECR, Velachery and more! And dancers and guests from different countries have walked in and left with the biggest smiles ever having their best nights in Chennai. Latin Americans, Africans, Europeans, Australians, Asians.... Gateway's Swirl Sensual nights have easily become one of the favorite socials in the city! SALSA MADRAS has made this an exclusive night for the Bachata and Kizomba lovers creating an exclusivity for the venue too!
SALSA MADRAS is slowlyg creating Gateway as the identity of Bachata and Kizomba in the city! If you havent tried it yet, you might not want to miss it anymore! If you have already been there, please feel free to comment about your experience!
Every Wednesday, 9 -10 PM, a fun open level bachata workshop followed by Sensual night till midnight, at Swirl Bar, Gateway Hotel! See you all on the dance floor!
P.S. Gateway was also the venue for the 5 kizomba pool parties happended from 2014 - 2015 reaching out to more than 150 people and also the venue for the Latin Festival Madras! for more info on the festival, please visit www.latinfestivalmadras.in