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Caricia (Caress)

The caricia is executed by stroking the foot against the leg. There are two variations of the caricia: the lustrada and the castigata.

Lustrada (Polish)

The lustrada is the most sensual of embellishments. It is executed by the follower lifting her free leg and caressing the supporting leg of the lead - either in an upward action, downwards, or very commonly both. The inside or outside of any part of the lead's leg, including his foot, may be caressed.

Castigada (Seduction)

The castigada is executed by the follower lifting her free leg and caressing her own supporting leg. Once again this may take the form of an upward action, downwards, or the follower stroking both the inside and outside of her supporting leg. It is often performed as an embellishment to an ocho; and where done correctly, it can be a most beautiful flourish.

Caricia Videos

Lustrada followed by Castigada - Rachel and Jorge

Castigada - Alp y Paula Tango

Lustrada - Gavito and Geraldine

Castigada - Tango En La Boca

Castigada - Laila and Leandro Oliver

Take the Embellishments Tour

The following tango embellishments are covered by clicking on the relevant links below. Each page gives further details and instructional videos on each embellishment.
  • AGUJA (NEEDLE) - this embellishment is performed by the lead keeping his free foot vertical whilst pivoting, as the follower dances around him.
  • AMAGUE (FEINT) - the embellishment is a 'fake move' such as a foot stamping, or by leading a step to the side of the follower, but quickly reversing.
  • BOLEO (WHIP) - here the follower's free foot is thrown to the side and wraps around her leg at the knees, and her upper body counter-rotates, when an ocho is reversed in the middle. There are two variations: back boleo and front boleo.
  • CARICIA (CARESS) - this is a most sensual tango embellishment, which has two variations. The lustrada has the follower caressing the supporting leg of the lead. In the castigada the follower caresses her own supporting leg.
  • CUATRO (FOUR) - in the cuatro, the follower flicks the lower part of her free leg backwards and up, creating the numeral 4 in profile.
  • ENROSCAR (SCREW) - this embellishment is performed by the lead keeping his free foot behind his supporting foot whilst pivoting, as the follower dances around him. A variation is the counter-enroscar in which the free foot is kept in front of the supporting foot.
  • GANCHO (HOOK) - this embellishment has either the lead or follower swing their free leg to hook it around their partner's supporting leg, and then quickly release it. A variation is the gancho pasajero in which the gancho is executed during a transition between one step and another.
  • GOLPETICO (TAP) - this is a simple tango embellishment in which the foot is tapped. It has a number of variations including the punto (tapping with the toe), golpeteo (tapping with the underside of the foot), fanfarron (rhythmic tap in time to the music), picado (upward flick of the heel) and zapatato (tapping the shoes together).
  • INTRUSION - here the free foot is quickly kicked in and out from the space between the partner's legs. It requires very good timing.
  • RULO (CIRCLE) - this embellishment is executed by drawing circles on the floor with the free leg.
  • SENTADA (SITTING) - this is a show-tango embellishment in which the follower mounts the lead's supporting leg.

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