I spent last night in my living room, and yet it was a very satisfactory evening of tango. Two friends came by, one fresh off an airplane, and we made dinner, looked out over the city, and talked about life, tango, and the mix of the two.
I often find milongas and practicas lacking a strong social element. I'm not sure if this is particular to Seattle, but I suspect it is true to some degree everywhere. At least for me, a lot of the problem is created because I like dancing, and tango music drives me to the floor. It's very tough to maintain a meaningful conversation in 1 minute chunks every 15 minutes.
A couple of the dances here in town maintain a stronger social atmosphere: China Harbor, and Om Culture; they have more space dedicated to non-dancing, and seating that encourages staying off the dance floor. Perhaps not coincidentally, they are also my favorite dances currently. Social atmosphere is not entirely dictated by layout, of course; other dances here have fluctuated in terms of atmosphere, attendance, music, etc.
How do you maintain social connections 5 or 15 minutes at a time?