bronze figurines notwithstanding.
In western ballet, the hand is supposed to extend the line of the arm, so the wrist should not be flexed, nor the fingers fanned out, nor the thumb sticking out like a… er, sore thumb. The hand should be in line with the arm, the thumb tucked toward the palm, the palm tilted away from the audience, and the fingers kind of piled up in a pointy fashion… all without being stiff.
I mean, there is lots of ballet choreography in which the hands might get more dramatic, but for plain old work at the barre, there should be no hand-swishing or wrist-flexing or any kind of line-breakage whatsoever:
Hmmm, a few thumbs out here and there in the above selections, but it just goes to show you it is fricking hard to remember the wee things.