The Golden Nugget of Tango

The Golden Nugget of Tango. Once long ago you were an itty-bitty Tango dancer. You could barely walk, the music was either intriguing or unappealing at best, one or the other. The very idea of going to a Milonga as a neophyte dancer where everyone and god could see just how much you were sucking raw eggs just about scared the bejeebers out of you. Then as you took a few classes, went to a few more milongas you started to feel like you knew what you were doing, sort of. You may have learned a few ‘steps’, gotten some feedback about what you’re supposed to do from a variety of people, you were possibly exposed to a Traveling Ocho, and the Follower’s Molinete (Leading and Following it), and most certainly the Argentine Cross. While at the same time, sort of seeing and hearing that there was an idea to the music but it was too vague for you to ‘get’ immediately other than there was a beat. You saw people dancing very close, and learned that this was called ‘Close Embrace’. You learned about the line of dance, about navigation and floorcraft (not the same things by the way), and something called 'Cabeceo'…just to name a few. All along the way you made a few friends, people you enjoyed dancing with and enjoyed the learning process. And in the end you still feel like you had a lot to learn. This entire process of feeling like a ‘Social Dancer’ usually took anywhere from 6 months to a year at minimum, depending on the role you were dancing. And even less if you were role swapping right from the beginning!

What if there were another way ? What if you could have learned a way to Tango that encompassed all of that stuff, but quite literally took 1/10th the time! What if there were a particular pattern that you could use (as a Lead or a Follow) that would've allowed you to dance all the foundational vocabulary, that respected the line of dance, protected the follower, but wasn’t repetitive at all unless you wanted it to be! What if there was a pattern that was insanely musical, highly extensible, and easily modified, and easily learned! What if ? Sounds like sales hyperbole huh ? Thank god it's not.

You would think that for the beginner dancer such a thing would be a god-send, for either role for a variety of obvious reasons! You would think that for the person that's been dancing a while, the advancing dancer who has already gone through that trial above, for either role, that they'd clearly love such a thing because it addresses 2 of their primary concerns: 1.) what do I next ? and 2.) I hope I don’t screw up! 

Enter The Golden Nugget of Argentine Tango.

Linking Notation: All the links on this site are internal definition links, nothing is external (excluding tangotopics youtube channel, and facebook like & share links), meaning the links are there to create a deeper and richer clarity.

Purchase! The video above is small snippet of a full HD video (total runtime: 31m:49s). You can purchase The Argentine Wrap for just 34.99 not including your level discount. You can get a $3.00 discount if you register to see the discount code!

What is The Golden Nugget of Tango ?  It is a Tango Topics construct, meaning ? It is a very irregular piece of Tango vocabulary you won't find any other teacher or youtube video on it. It is one of the very few patterns or ‘steps’ that Tango Topics actively promotes as a very useful tool that you can take out social dancing today, right now! Unlike 98% of tango patterns that only work under certain conditions, The Golden Nugget can be used in all three dances, all night long, and never be repeated. Put simply this is everything you will ever need to know in order to dance Argentine Tango in one complete package. This is not sales boast, or sales hyperbole. It’s demonstrable fact. The author is living proof of that fact!

The Golden Nugget (as it is affectionately called) contains the 7 basic ‘moves’ (seriously -> see the link) that you must master in order to dance. However, no one teaches it. And that’s because until recently it didn’t exist. Most Tango teachers will start you off with walking, and then possibly to Ochos, and then show you the dreaded ‘8 Count Basic’ which leads to an Argentine Cross, and/or show you the Ocho Cortado as a place to start pattern wise. And in doing so you, the unwitting student will end up repeating, and regurgitating the same move over and over and over again which makes them appear like a dance studio baby. 🙁

The Golden Nugget on the other hand replaces all of that stuff. Every. Last. Bit. Not that you don’t need to know walking, ochos, or crosses. No, you should study your walk. Not that you should not study your ochos and perfect them. You rightly should. Not that you shouldn’t rightfully practice the Follower’s Molinete. No. You should do all that stuff. That ‘stuff’ is insanely important and as every advanced dancer will tell you they’re constantly revisiting their foundation to clean up their issues.

The Golden Nugget solves the two problems above as well. It removes the uncertainty of what to do next because that decision is quite literally embedded into the solution itself. It also removes the problem of not wanting to screw up either and forces you work on and try to execute better or cleaner technique.

This is the The Golden Nugget of Tango in broad stroke.

Difficulty Rating: 3.0 Stars3.0 / 5 The Super Ocho is going to kill!

From A Following Perspective this is Side, Back, Back, a Super Ocho (Over-rotated Ochos), and then an Argentine Cross! Not too complicated. Right ? And that’s because it’s not. This is something that you’ve done 10,000 times. The difference here, and what makes learning the Golden Nugget useful for you is that it can and will challenge you to work on your foundation because it is all foundational work! Meaning ? You’re going to want to hone your foundation on a regular basis in order to dance this seemingly simple but very complex piece of vocabulary. Unlike most steps, patterns, and figures that are useless for because they don’t really do anything for you as a whole, the Golden Nugget does just the polar opposite. It forces you to revisit your foundation and to work on three key elements:

Your Back Step. What Follower couldn’t use a bit more work on their back step. And have space and time to actually create an elegant back step that makes you look like a million dollars ? Every Follower wants that. The Golden Nugget allows you to work on that independent of the Lead! Just the steps themselves, gives you something to practice, an idea to focus on in your back steps!

Your Ochos. Every Follower needs to work on their Disassociation and then their Applied Disassociation which when put together can be executed as an Ocho but in it’s component elements allows for so many more options and opportunities for the Follower to expand their capabilities!

Your Crosses. There’s never enough time to actually work on this stuff. Really. Usually we end up with ‘Dirty Crosses’ but what would happen if you had a piece of vocabulary that you could immediately teach to a lead that would allow you to work on the Argentine Cross and your crosses and at the same time ? Would the be of interest to you ? Because the Golden Nugget is insanely extensible you are never assured that the cross will occur in the same place twice! Which forces to actually listen to the lead AND then put that cross into it’s proper place not just because you KNOW there’s supposed to be a cross there!

From a Leading Perspective the Golden Nugget is all about Tango toys for you. ‘Toy’ in the respect that it means options and opportunities to do different things, as well as create a sense of certainty with what can happen next.

Frequently most leads are stuck as to what to do next, so they end up doing the same things over and over again which essentially boils down to, on a crowded dance floor, turn, turn, turn, cross, turn some more! Turn to the left, turn to the right, vary the speed of the turn, then cross and then start again. At some point along the curve this same lead is thinking they need to be on beat, and very distantly they’re thinking about floorcraft.

The Golden Nugget solves all of those problems in three very distinct ways because it opens the doorway to:

Line of Dance & Floorcraft. You’re going to have to learn about this stuff eventually and the Golden Nugget reinforces this idea without there being a conscious thought or someone dictating to you that you must follow the line of dance. Because of it’s singular linear nature, you’re going to end up following the line of dance anyway. As a result of the execution of the Golden Nugget you will reinforce good Floorcraft skills, again mostly without the need to have someone dictate to you. But rather as a happenstance of the structure of the Golden Nugget itself.

Versatility. While the basic of the Golden Nugget for you is really leading the Follower to execute Side, Back, Back, a Super Ocho (Over-rotated Ochos), and then an Argentine Cross! The fact is that you do NOT need to do this pattern in exactly the same way over and over again. Truth be told you can execute this in nearly any fashion you like! You could for instance execute Back, Back, Side, Super Ocho, Super Ocho, and then an Argentine Cross! Or Argentine Cross, Forward, Side, Side (change directions), Back, Back, Ocho, Ocho, Ocho, Super Ocho, Cross. It can be taken apart and put back together in almost any order you like. And because there other implied movements within the structure it’s easy to add them…which leads to the next idea.

Extensibility. The Golden Nugget allows for you to not only change the order or how things are done - to modify them, and the timing, but also to add, drop-in other ideas like: A forward traveling ocho, a molinete instead of a cross at the end, or in the middle because of the Super Ocho lends itself very well to being turned into the Follower’s Molinete. There’s a possible Lead Molinete there as well, as well as a Calecita right at the point of the Super Ocho. There are a host of Sacadas (nearly a hundred common ones of the 501 possible Sacadas) on nearly every step including the Cross for both roles. There are Incremental Steps nearly everywhere, which work well on the back and side steps. There are Check Steps too that are sitting there! There are implied Rock Steps on nearly every step, except for the Cross. There’s even an Ocho Cortado that’s sitting there out of the cross! All possible if you just expand your thinking a bit.

And all of this is accessible and addressable to the music that’s playing in any tempo. Any Tempo. Any Style of the Music: Tango, Vals, or Milonga! It works extensively well in milonga as well. Why ? Because Milonga Porteña is usually danced in the linear, and the Golden Nugget is linear and very briefly is it circular!

dancing in a small space ? try these articles!


Deeper Extensibility.  You can go much deeper than the typical Golden Nugget, by adding Golden Nugget Extensions (for just $24.99). Essentially it's playing with the Follower's Extensions (hence the name), as well as the Lead's possible extensions as well. It uses the Golden Nugget as the guide point, and then plays with every possibility that you can think of and some that you haven't! Both products (the Golden Nugget AND Golden Nugget Extensions) can be purchased as a bundle for just $69.99.

About The Video. This video comes in at 31m:16s in length in 12 Sections. Both lead and follower technique is combined and integrated in the video.

Section 1 - Lead - 00:02:42
Section 2 - Follow - 00:02:03
Section 3 - Lead/Follow Together - 00:01:50
Section 4 - Linking Step 1 - 00:02:03
Section 5 - Linking Step 2 - 00:03:40
Section 6 - The “Why” - 00:01:36
Section 7 - Set Up - 00:02:26 (the video above minus the golden nugget)
Section 8 - Close Embrace Version - 00:01:22
Section 9 - Embrace Clarities- 00:04:51
Section 10 - Versatility - 00:01:25
 Section 11 - Cross System - 00:04:38
Section 12 - Example - 00:02:50

It can be purchased for $49.99 (don't forget the 10.00 discount) or downloaded as part of your subscription with your discount!

From a Dancing Perspective the Golden Nugget is a dancing cornucopia if for no other reason because of its extensibility! Whereas most patterns or sequences must be done in the exact same way each and every time which is why you must learn multiple multiples of them in order to seem like you’re dancing to the music and not just regurgitating the same idea over and over again. As a result of that regurgitation the Follower quickly knows your spiel, they know what you’re about to do. They could literally set their watch by it. The Golden Nugget on the other hand is anything but repetitive!

A Little Story. When I first learned this my teacher sent me out into the Tango world almost immediately afterwards (after spending about 5 days on it) and I went to my 1st milonga. I sat there most of the night without the intention to dance because I knew I wasn't ready for it. Along about midnight and the end of the milonga a friend that came with me asked me to dance and I freaked right out. She finally pulled me to the floor and I had to dance. So I tried the only thing I knew - The Golden Nugget (mind you it wasn't called that then). 4 steps in and I ran into people, I crossed lanes of dance, I even stepped on some poor lady's foot! I went back to my teacher the next day and said "this f*cking thing doesn't work!!!!". He smiled and asked "Why not ?". I told him what had happened the night before. He laughed and said, "Miles, you oriented the wrong way going down the line of dance and instead...." can you guess ? I went across the lanes of dance! I could have screamed. I learned a very valuable lesson that day, one that would carry me forward. Not all is at it appears and to investigate why something works! I hadn't. From that day to this one. I always ask....always.

The Missing Information.  There's a free tip (for registered free users) that's not here because you're not logged in. If you were logged in, you'd see a free tip, but because you're not, you're not seeing it. So ? If you want the free tip, then go register as a free user and login. 🙂 However, if you want the toys, and to see the 31m:16s HD quality video on how to properly lead & follow a Golden Nugget and all the toys that go with it. Then you have 2 options. 1.) You can get a $10.00 discount if you register as a free user, and then buy it with the discount code contained here that you can't see yet. or 2.) You can subscribe!

 Watch It On Youtube ? Why should you pay for this video, or subscribe to this website when stuff like this is available on Youtube ? Because what you'll find on Youtube doesn't explain and walk you through the how the Golden Nugget works! That’s why! 

So, please, go right ahead, go watch all the presentation videos on youtube all you want. Because that's what they are 'Presentation' videos. The couple's that you're used to seeing are performing for the 15th row for a room full of people, they're not social dancing. Whereas this website is all about 'Social Dancing'. So please, go spend your time, trying to infer, and figure out how things may work in that situation. Bend your body this way or that, twist and force this position or that. Place your foot here or there and figure it out.  Which can be a lot of fun, but more than likely it won't help you, because you're missing something: The explanation from an experienced teacher! (ahem) ME!  The goal of youtube videos is to entice you to go study with those teachers in person. The goal of these videos is allow you to work at your own pace, in the comfort of your own space, so that you can play them over and over again to improve your understanding of the vocabulary or technique being described to therefore better your dancing experience. The goal of classes and workshops is to get you to come back over and over and over again, thereby spending more money with that teacher. This website and the videos under it are here to act as a resource for you to help you to improve your dance. Pay once and be done with it. 😉

Eventually, one way or another you’re going to pay for this lesson, either here and now, or with them. TANSTAAFL! The difference between that lesson and this ? Is that you get to play this lesson over and over and over again. Further still, there are supporting materials (other videos) that help to explain the language and the underlying technique.

In an hour long class, with the blind leading the blind through rotation of partners (uuuggggh!), you may glean a piece of the information you need and not get the whole thing, and you’ll miss important pieces that you’ll end up having to take a private lesson for to get the finer points. This way, you can watch over and over again, and get all the supplementary materials, and if you want you can still go take the class, only you’ll be better prepared to do so!

The Last Word. Tango Topics is little reminders and snippets of information that your teachers would have told you about but didn’t have time to or didn’t care to remind you for the umpteenth millionth time. Do you need videos like these ? Yes. Why ? Simple…you need as many reminders as possible in as many forms as you can get. In today’s Tango world it does take a village to raise a dancer. And that means having as many voices, reminders, ideas, concepts, perspectives as possible. This video and the rest of the ones that are sitting behind the Tango Topics paywall are that. While what you’re seeing above is only the smallest hint of what’s contained in the actual video. It should be enough for you to make a reasoned and intelligent choice that perhaps there’s something of value in this site and the videos that are here. Considering becoming a Gold, Gold Plus, or Diamond level subscriber today.