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The half-ass layback position

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by haribobo, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. bartek

    bartek Active Member

    I consider Sasha's classic layback position to be absolutely the best. I know that Dorothy and Lucinda had a little bit better arch in the back but neither of them could achieve the perfect leg posistion. Sasha had brilliant arch in her back, one of the best, and her leg was absolutely spot on. Just perfect, very close to her back with beautiful turned out foot.

  2. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    There's a heaviness to Sasha's layback that I don't like. It doesn't look easy for her to get into that position.
  3. ks1227

    ks1227 Well-Known Member

    :swoon: :swoon:

    :swoon: :swoon:

    I know that Cohen is supposed to be the standard, but in my book Nikodinov at her best is the ultimate layback spinner!
  4. Karpenko

    Karpenko Not Impressed.

    Sasha's layback always irked me a bit.

    The leg position is beautiful.

    The back position is beautiful.

    But those two beautiful positions, didn't look beautiful together. I always wanted Sasha to either arch less, or turn her back leg inward just a bit more. She had a great layback, but her basic position was over-done IMO. I still liked Angela's, she had just the right amount of arch and turnout.
  5. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

    Many critics complained about Sylvie Guillem (probably the best ballet dancer the world has ever seen) that she was too flexible and was just showing off. I never understood those comments (likewise I don't understand yours about arching less and not turning out so much. Not a dig, I just don't understand . To me it's like saying Patrick Chan's quad is too high or too clean). Every dancer I know would kill to have Sylvie Guillems technique/flexibility/body. I can pretty much guarantee that 99% of girl skaters would kill for Sasha's flexibility/body/layback.
    Near the beginning of this video Sylvie dances. My jaw dropped the first time I saw her dance. I was a professional dancer and you know how you see some people and they inspire you? She made me want to give up. :shuffle:
  6. RockTheTassel

    RockTheTassel Well-Known Member

    I agree. Sasha's layback is my favorite. I love how she manages to have an impressive leg position and arch in her back. Absolutely beautiful.
  7. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    I feel silly for saying this, but I always liked Katarina Witt's layback and the way she got into the position with her arms. It as was though she was opening up like a flower or something.
  8. skateboy

    skateboy Well-Known Member

    No reason to feel silly. Katarina had some great qualities to her skating.
  9. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    Funny someone brought up Yuna.

    I know many people care a lot about the leg and foot positions (and Yuna's sucked), but to me the essence of a layback spin is the arch, and Yuna did have great arch to her layback spin. That, combined with the speed and centering, makes it a good layback spin for me. It's not pretty, but it's technically good because of the arch.

    Similarly, Kwan's crescent moon position allows her to have better arch (and speed), and was a better position (for me anyways) than her 2000 position with the nice leg position but with no arch.

    The same (although to a much bigger extent) extends to Lucinda Ruh and Yukina Ota.
  10. Karpenko

    Karpenko Not Impressed.

    It's because you can't appreciate the full position right away, it's not a dig at Sasha at all. It's a beautiful layback spin!!

    But she arches so much and the leg is turned out but somewhat to the side (instead of inward right behind her back), instead of more inward like Angela's, so you can't appreciate the full position right away. Your eye dances because you are trying to find her leg and she has it turned out instead of in (which is fine).

    With Angela's layback I see the leg and the arch right away, there's a center-ness to the position of the spin that Sasha's doesn't have because she arches so much and doesn't put her leg in more. This is why I slightly prefer Angela's, even though Sasha's in more flexible. Her bodyline between the leg and back doesn't have that perfect C arch that Angela's has.

    Although to be fair to Sasha, we are comparing just the basic layback position here, if it were a full-on layback spin with all of the features and level 4 criteria, she'd probably beat Angela hands down. But then of course I would bring Caroline Zhang into the discussion. ;)
  11. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Sasha's is beautiful but Dorothy's is still better. Far more difficult to maintain such a great position and spin so quickly :) For all that preparation, I always expected Sasha's layback to have a bit more power to enhance the position even more.
  12. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    So has the discussion moved on from the half-ass layback position and is now focused on who had the best full-ass layback position? :D

    Technically I suppose a half-ass one would probably qualify as a sideways-leaning spin
    bardtoob and (deleted member) like this.
  13. Macassar88

    Macassar88 Well-Known Member

  14. DarrellH

    DarrellH New Member

    There are also those that get so little arch to the back that it becomes more of a "Lay-neck" spin.
  15. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    Do you mean Laetitia Hubert in her latest years ? :cold:
    (I love her)
  16. DBZ

    DBZ Well-Known Member

    That reminds me of this layback from Maria Butyrskaya:

    2000 Worlds

    Just god-awful position with no stretch whatsoever. :yikes:
  17. ainouta

    ainouta Well-Known Member

    I would argue this doesn't even lay-neck much:
    Her students nowadays all have good back bend though!
  18. CantALoop

    CantALoop Well-Known Member

    I agree that Katarina had a great layback - lovely position of her arms and free leg.
  19. David21

    David21 Well-Known Member

  20. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    But she didn't always have a "classic layback" since she sometimes chose to do a twisted and/or haircutter position . . . before IJS when doing so was relatively unusual, and of course afterward, with Biellmanns added, to gain levels.
  21. Macassar88

    Macassar88 Well-Known Member

    Were there any other skaters who did different layback positions in their layback spins pre IJS?
    And I loved her haircutter spin because she got so much speed on it.
  22. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. Sometimes from extra flexibility and creativity, sometimes from lack of flexibility and the need to find another way to meet the short program requirement -- leading purists to lament the half-assedness of their positions.

    The haircutter has been around, though not as common as it is now, at least since the 1970s or earlier.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtKaKS0A_lg 1:00

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6zKfZVurJYt 1:50

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bElDo6C2Dt4 3:00

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYB9OInQYLc 1:45 (we wondered whether some judges would consider the backspin as not fulfilling the standard SP layback requirement)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_Ikxi6Zx4A 0:30

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x95R_2ztQfs 1:43
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  23. falling_dance

    falling_dance Coaching Patrick

    In her last two short programs as an amateur, Kristi Yamaguchi would hold the blade during the last three revolutions in the layback position.

    ETA: Surya Bonaly's 1992 Olympic SP featured a haircutter layback.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  24. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

    Not really a layback but Jason Brown has that amazing back spin layback thing holding his free leg. Love seeing variations when they are done well.
  25. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  26. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    I liked Volchkova, as she impressed me with her very high jumps. But I've never noticed her layback was so bad !
  27. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    I do think that the Americans tend to have the best laybacks. If you look at the current field of ladies internationally, I say the US has the top 1 and 2 spinners...

    In terms of speed, I'd put Alissa first. Alissa's first position is lovely (back position and turn out) but she only holds it for 3 revs before switching. Her other positions aren't super fantastic but they are good. The reason her spins are so amazing is the speed and centering she carries throughout them, particularly her ending Biellmann which loses no speed.

    In terms of difficultly and positions, I'd put Mirai first though I do wish she'd turn her foot out more, like here (which proves she can, she just doesn't). The arch in her back is extreme and she's able to hit distinct positions few others can attain to that degree. Also she maintains speed and centering plus she's able to transition up into a Biellmann without standing up first.

    I still think Caroline Zhang's classic layback position was incredible. Her layback spin back in 2007 was WOW! I'd never seen anything like that before. She's lost some of her speed and flexibility but her classic position is still lovely.

    In terms of half-assed, butt fugly spins, I think the award goes to the Russian girls. Of all of the ones I've seen, only Makarova has an acceptable combination of turned out leg and back position. Several of the girls have good back positions but that harshly angled leg irks me.

    By far, Elizaveta's is the worst. There is no layback; not even a lean or tilt back...it's like a head twist. The positions are fugly and it travels all over the place. Though it is a matter of preference, I'd give that spin a -1 or -2 every time...it's an eyesore to me!

    Adelina's has gotten better this year. She does the lean/angled leg thing too, but at least she ends hers nicely. Last year, she had a weak Biellmann; this year, rather than trying to do a full two-handed Biellmann, she just pulls the leg up. She has gorgeous extension so that final position looks 10x better than trying to do a half-assed Biellmann.

    Mao has the flexibility to do a beautiful layback, but opts out of it most of the time. I did like this version she had when she was with TAT. She's another one with gorgeous lean in her back.

    I was never a fan of Yu-Na's layback, though her lovely back position and speed helped me to overlook her sometimes distracting arms and her foot hanging down. I love Yu-Na to death but she's never had pretty feet in her skating; from the waist up, her lines are glorious but from the waist down, she's mediocre at best.

    I'm not much a fan of Akiko's layback spin BUT I do appreciate the speed she carries and the unique variation of switching to an inside edge.

    In terms of a spin I really wish someone would do, I'd love to see this done now. Nathaiel Krieg was an incredible spinner. You'd need someone with a really flexible back and good extension, but it could be done. I think Mirai should give it a go, seeing as she can literally put her head on her butt.:D
  28. arakwafan2006

    arakwafan2006 Well-Known Member

  29. pollyanna

    pollyanna In denial

    Tiffany Chin in 1984
  30. bartek

    bartek Active Member

    This is another one with great arch in the back although her free leg is not up to a level of Sasha or Angela. It's Shizuka Arakawa.


    Btw, look at the 3Lz+3T she did at the begining. Yu-Na Kim wouldn't be ashamed of that. I'm thinking of doing a video with all those gorgeous laybacks.