There, I said it. I'm sorry. I know that everyone in the world prefers to watch female skaters instead of male skaters and everyone is in love with the way women just float across the ice, like little angels in chiffon or whatever. But frankly a Layback Ina Bauer looks like the skater passed out on the ice, but the forward momentum she had before she lost consciousness keeps her moving.
(source: Getty Images)
(Please note: I think Shizuka Arakawa is amazing. Even though that is in fact her signature move.)
In general people will actually look mildly shocked when I say that I would prefer to watch mens single skaters over female singles skaters any day. But every time I have confessed my opinion about the Ina Bauer move to a lifelong skater I generally get a polite, but unmistakable "Who farted?" face. And that is not an exaggeration. Three people have done it. Maybe because places like icenetwork.com declares "[a]n Ina Bauer is considered one of the most beautiful moves in figure skating." Too bad. Because I still I hate them.
You know what I do love? Spinning. Look I brought examples!
Stephane Lambiel is the Master of Spins. Please ignore the lame moniker because it's true. I love him, and not just because he's like the handsome European prince I used to dream would find me at school and take me away to a world of ball gowns, Rolls-Royces and waving politely at the commoners. ...Ahem.
I also love him because he can actually evince emotion while spinning like a top. His spins are wonderfully fast, centered, and stable but he still puts the effort in to striking meaningful positions, and holding his hands in such a way that it's less about the fireworks and more about the beauty of the spin. (Clip is set to start about 5 seconds before the spin):
Stephane is my favorite spinner, but of course ladies can spin, too! And how. Mirai Nagasu is an amazing spinner. And so bendy! In this clip she does two very solid sit spin positions, and then launches into a layback spin so fast and flexible it takes my breath away (also set start right at the spin).
In 2009 the Nebelhorn Trophy Gala found itself with two famous spinners, Stephane Lambiel and Alissa Czisny so they decided to have a "spin off." Literally. In essence, they are SPIN DANCE fighting. Alissa hits more poses, but Stephane beats her for speed and endurance:
If you really want to do things completely you should google/youtube Lucinda Ruh. To hear Crotchety Uncle Dick Button tell it Lucinda Ruh was the single greatest spinner ever. She used to spin both directions, in the snow, everyday at 4am before she had to milk the cows, or whatever. (No really, she's great.)
And lord but do I have more examples, (Stephane's near minute long spin in one of his old exhibition programs, the amazing speed and energy of his spin in his William Tell competitive program, Plushenko's Beillmann spins, Adam Rippon's lovely donut spin from the 2010 World's, and the glory that is side by side camel spins in pair's skating) but I don't want to overwhelm you. I think I've made my point abundantly clear anyway.
Ladies' skating: Quit hitting the snooze button in the middle of your programs and gimme some razzle dazzle.