The Philosophical Implications Of The Peggy Fleming Layback

The Peggy Fleming layback is the foundation of modern skating.

I honestly believe that the woman who attains that spin in front of an audience controls the world for those few brief moments. We have never bothered to examine that possibility, and I believe we are the poorer for it. All of us.

There is immense power in this spin. I have elsewhere discussed how its proper execution balances the performer between conscious and subconscious. The Biellmann (except for one particularly acrobatic variation) does not even come close. And the Biellmann is what most people consider the showstopper.

Lord, how do I say this? I have seen entire audiences galvanized by a four to five-rotation holding of this spin position. It seems to have something to do with the optics of the sequins, the balance of the leg, and the "this is so easy" arm movements. The Lady of the Lake rising up to the surface of the water? Thunderbolt Woman coming down from the skies? The spin sheds bad costuming. I have literally seen excess fluff come spinning off an outfit in practice. The spin sets its own standards. Savvy costumers put outfits through a specially-designed sequence, including a PFL, to see what works. Let it be their secret. Sorry.

A PFL lights up an entire arena. The glow seems to bounce off the boards. And girl, that foot had better not drift down once you get going. The leg position is what holds the entire insane combination in place.

One PFL and an audience will forgive you anything.

I've seen it. Literally. Anything.

I knew you wouldn't believe me. (And do I really need to stress Peggy isn't the only one who knows how to do it?) (Thank you.)

Back to Peggy Fleming Page

Hmm....Let me see....