The best way to describe the use of this ability is:
- "You can use this ability to dash and strike anything you can target."
This ability isn't restricted to use only on enemies. You can dash accross the screen to hit a barrel if you wish. Personally I love getting from point A to B as quickly as possible so I don't mind spending some resources. After the beta patch update that greatly increased the damage of mobs, I used dashing strike on barrels around the room to avoid certain death while plahing Hardcore.
Besides, Monks should rarely be using any skills to get OUT of fights, no matter what build you are using whether it is pure offense, pure defense, a bit of both, the Monk generally needs to be constantly using his skills on a target to keep up various passives at the same time for the greatest results. Especially with some passives lasting all but 2 or 3 seconds, Each second you have your back to your opponent is really a waste of potential passive skills.
Dash should be used as the skill that doesn't let enemies escape Monks, to ensure we can keep whatever passives we are aiming for up. Leap away? i dash back on you, Teleport away? I'm still on ya, Vaulting? what for i'm still in your face. That is basically what I believe the skill was meant to accomplish with such long offensive range and no cooldowns. the ultimate gap-closer.
You can use the skill at any time as long as you can pay the spirit cost, but you won't actually go anywhere unless you have a hostile target like a monster or a barrel - yes hostile barrels...they have skeletons in them!
So you can't use it as targetless travel like Leap or Vault but as long as there's stuff around you you're extremely mobile.