As a generally positive person, I try not to think about the downsides of being ambidancetrous, (or of any other activity in which I regularly engage.)
However, I encountered one of them last night, and I'm suddenly curious as to whether the trade-off is worth it. Namely, when you're accustomed to dancing complicated figures from either position, it becomes impossible to realize when something has gone awry in the calling (or the set) and you and your partner have gotten your sides reversed.
See, the teacher last night at SCD became slightly muddled as she gave the advanced class directions, and we wound up standing as two couples, one of which was improper -with the gentleman and the lady on opposite sides of the set. From there, we were expected to do a pousette, already one of the more difficult Scottish figures.
However the pousette is typically danced with both couples proper, and there was a momentary hesitation across the class as people tried to adjust to the "backwards" nature half of them had to face. I was oblivious to the "wrongness" of the situation until someone asked for clarification. After all, I've danced pousettes from either role often enough that I just know the directions involved, and would've gone that way and trusted my partner to do the same.
That's indeed what happened, the class managed to do an admirable job with the strangeness, and the dance looked lovely and was fun. But it was an interesting discovery of what I lack --I can dance either role just fine, but to get to that point, I've somewhat sacrificed my ability to tell when something is not quite right without paying considerable attention. It's an interesting debate, which of these is more important to the dance.
However my choice is wrong, I will keep dancing both roles. Backwards, if I have to.