Inexperienced dancers often forget about their hands because they concentrate more on their feet. To be an amazing dancer means you need to perfect your hand movements. Every gesture, movement, and shape you make needs to have precision and purpose. Hands play an important role in your overall movement.

When focusing on a dozen things at once, it can be difficult to control your hands. We have put together a list of five things to watch out for to help perfect hand movement.

1. “Broken wrists” 
No doubt your teacher has scolded you for having “broken wrists”. It is one of the most common mistakes dancers make with their hands. Dancers tend to focus on pulling up the body and not letting the backdrop, so the hand gets neglected and left to droop. If you imagine that your fingertips are reaching out towards an invisible horizon line, you’ll find it easier to maintain a straight line. Emphasis should be on gently lengthening the entire body, continuing to glide the arms and hands. This will help keep you slipping back into “broken wrists” and ruining your movement.

2. “Pinched fingers” 
Some dancers unconsciously become “pinchers”, gluing their fingers to their thumb to avoid sticking their fingers out. Unfortunately, this look is equally unwanted and awkward as it prevents any fluidity in the hands. Allow your hands to flow through movements. The cushioning of space between the fingers and thumb allow for this natural articulation. Focus on keeping a small space between the thumb and fingers, allowing the movement to continue down the arm and escape out the fingertips.

3. “Flat hands” 
It is quite common for people who are overly conscious of their tendency to stick their thumbs out to over-compensate by flattening their fingers and thumbs down altogether. With such graceful movement throughout the rest of the body ending the line on lifeless flat hands looks bad. Do not focus so much on your hands that you become distracted by them.

4. “Crab hands” 
Dancers unconscious stiffening of their hands and fingers leads to a rigid claw-like shape, with the thumbs protruding too far from the hand, interrupting the line of the arms. While some dancers do desire a more widely spread thumb and curved fingers, a dancers hands should never be stiff. The frozen immobile joints of the fingers and wrists make this a habit to avoid.

5. “Stuck out thumbs” 
Rather than looking like you are clasping an imaginary ball in each hand, dancers with stuck out thumbs tend to have spikey straight digits, but always with a protruding thumb that shortens the line of the arm. As above, the most important step is to override the existing bad habit and replace it with a good one. A lot of focus and a little help from your friend the mirror you can correct unattractive hand movements.