I spent the weekend in Bellingham, and had occasion to dance with a roomful of entirely new people.
My dancing has always been in one of two places so far: Seattle or Portland. I have become quite comfortable with the group of people I regularly dance with in each of those places. Although I certainly dance with a wide mix of people, and occasionally new people (both new to me, and new to tango), the communities both have a solid sense of style to which I have become accustomed.
Both Seattle and Portland are heavily weighted toward a close, milonguero style embrace. I favor such a style myself, and therefore get along just fine. However, when I attended a dance in Bellingham, it was largely new dancers, and mostly open embrace. I was reminded how different a completely open embrace feels, and how the technique required changes. I was also reminded of various technique (axis, balance, intention) that I have let slip.
It was a fun evening, and I learned quite a bit. Thank you, Bellingham dancers.