The chapter "Critiques of Skating's Feminine Ideal" in Culture On Ice, includes discussion of the top figure skaters of the 80s through mid 90s, but what really stood out to me, was this quote from dance critic Anita Finkel on Tonya Harding's skating:
"exceptional connection with the ice, her drive, her speed, her deep edges, and the clarity and stretch of her positions gave her "the wherewithal to make her relatively short limbs and blocky torso irrelevant."
"Tonya Harding really is a brilliant artist; the tragedy is that no one realized it, let alone valued it."
The quotes btw are from 1992.
I never paid too much attention to Tonya Harding's skating before. I'm in no teknik, but watching her routines on youtube her strengths (besides the triple axel-when she landed it) seemed to be the excellent power & height on her jumps, particularly the triple lutz and great speed on the ice. The spiral sequence appears her biggest weakness.
I also liked some of her rather unique music choices.
http://youtu.be/WOP3Dj0DraQ (Skate America)
http://youtu.be/MdC5G7CDvbI (U.S. Nationals-triple axel)