In general, I try to avoid festivals. I prefer marathons and encuentros. The main reason is the navigation. The navigation is a lot better in the closed event. And whenn you don’t have to take care (or pay attention) about the other dancers and when you can just follow the flow, you really can focus on your dance and enjoy a lot more.
Last year I was really surprised by the quality of the navigation in Remolino and it is one of the reason I came back there. I only found a similar quality in Lodz festival but most of the dancers were more experienced in this other festival. In Remolino, you really find a lot of dancers from completely different levels and they dance at the same time with very limited troubles.
The quality of the navigation there is not a matter of luck but the result of the work of the organizers. During the festival, several free navigation class are organized and new dancers are invited to participate to learn to dance respecting the space of the other dancers. Also during the short speachs of the milonga, a little reminder is always present with the presentation of the DJ and the various announcements. Just few seconds to remind a rule, but enough to be useful.
I heard various stories on Alexandra Kotelnitskaya being considered as police of the navigation. And I like these stories. From these stories, she even gives personal invitation to navigation class for some dancers who are disturbing the milonga. Navigation is the responsability of the men and most of the followers have no conscious about what is happening around her when they are dancing (or sometimes they just don’t care). A woman organizer taking care of the navigation is also a privilege and is a real present for all the leaders dancing there.
Of course, you will always find some special cases. But don’t be mad, just take distance and smile when they dance near the table of the navigation police. Anyway, being able to dance freely in Remolino is a real asset. I would like to see more dedication in other festivals.