Here's a question Brian posted (from Kari). As another blogging dancer, I thought I'd add my two cents in here.
"If you were at a dance event, would you rather have awesome dances the entire time, dancing with experienced leads or follows that you didn't know? Or, would you rather have some pretty good dances while dancing the entire time with your friends?"
What I'd like to point out is that I don't divide the world up into these two categories at all. In my experience, any dance that has ever fallen under the heading of "awesome" has been with a friend. I think that, no matter how good a dancer is, if I don't have some sort of personal connection with them then there's just something missing (though the dance may still be quite good). Something I learned in my first or second social dance class ever was that technical ability is only the second best predictor of how much I enjoy dancing with someone. How comfortable I am with the person is the most important part, because I can relax more and have more fun. I'm lucky in that many of my friends are also excellent dancers, so I guess I don't feel like I have to choose between the two much, though I realize there are also lots of good dancers out there who I don't dance with because I don't really know them. I worry a bit sometimes about turning into a "dance snob," as Richard would put it, so I do try to dance some with people I don't know, though it's difficult sometimes, being shy and whatnot. I will almost always dance with any stranger who asks me (though Latin dances and tangos are iffy). And I actually enjoy dancing with beginners and helping them out, so I try to make a point of dancing with a newbie periodically -- which, if I don't know the person, wouldn't fall into either of the categories mentioned in the question. So anyway, if I had to arrange my ideal dance event, I would have the majority of dances be with my friends, a few dances teaching/helping beginners, and a few dances with completely random people I don't know but who might become friends, whether or not they're good dancers. And that's roughly what I do most of the time, though I should work more on the dancing-with-strangers bit.