Sunday, September 30, 2012

Graceful Hands

While I was at Lake Placid I learned a graceful hand position from Coach Amazing. She has training in dance and ballet and taught me a lot about arm positioning to stop me skating so stiffly.  Anyway, she taught me what I'll call "Ballet Style Graceful Hands".  The middle finger is bent slightly down, while the index, ring and little fingers frame it from above. Coach Amazing even had a device which I wrapped around my hands to teach me how to do it properly until it became a habit.

Ballet Style Graceful Hands
You can imagine, given the position of the middle finger, that this is a hand position that must be held palm down. Hold it palm up and it looks like you're shooting someone the bird.

Dance Coach wants me to hold my free hand with the middle, ring and little finger together, and the index finger slightly separated. I looked at hundreds of pictures, and this is the only one I could find that shows anything close to what I'm describing.
God's Hand on the right is close to
"Dance Coach Graceful Hands"
After a lively exchange between Dance Coach and I about hand position--I like ballet style, he likes his style, so yes, I do his style--I realized there are other styles out there. Here they are:

Jazz Hands
Bollywood Style

Adele Style--not recommended

Vulcan Style--only if you're feeling Trekkie!
Actually, I'm surprised I've never seen a Star Trek skating program. I'm sure boys have done Star Wars over the years, but Trek has been sadly ignored by figure skating. And it's got the short skirts and everything. Tell me, doesn't this just cry out for ice dance?


  1. My coach thumps me about my arms and hands all the time. I end up with "witch arms/hands" elbows bent and edging closer to tucked position near my body. I threatened to get some long fake fingernails to complete the look. My "jazz hands" habit disappeared when I considered wearing white gloves to look like Mickey Mouse. LOL!

    1. I'm the opposite. I'm a huncher with my shoulders up near my ears. It took me a while to break that habit.

  2. In all seriousness, the Star Trek films have some great music, and some of it is eminently skatable, so I'm also surprised nobody has used it. I understand one of the American skaters is using Doctor Who music this year though, so perhaps it will start a trend for sci-fi themed programmes.

    Tempted to adopt the Vulcan style of hands.

  3. I'd like to think I can do graceful, balletic hands--I do have plenty of years of ballet behind me. But when I'm skating, it's like all the concentration travels to my fingers and I end up flexing my hands. Then I do weird things with my arms to compensate for my bad spins and occasionally end up with one arm folded in front of my chest, the other extended to the side, both hands flexed. My coach exclaims, "What's up with the Betty Boop arms?"

    1. When I skate, I can only think about my feet....and my shoulders. Anything in between?....meh, it's a goat rope.

  4. my coach is always telling me my arms and hands are TOO graceful! and then she starts asking if i've had dance training (only a couple of classes here and there in my childhood). she actually makes me work on skating more mechanically to get the skills, but she says i have to retain the ballet arms/hands for later ice dance work. :)
    - brokenzamboni