My skates are in the shop getting new blades, so this noon I watched a
videotape called "Ballanchine Essays: Passe and Attitude" (Nonsuch). In
a properly performed layback spin, the skater's free leg should be in a
position which approximates the attitude position in ballet. I was
startled to hear that George Ballanchine used the "doggy and the fire
hydrant" analogy to direct his dancers to hold the free leg in back of
the body, rather than to the side!
Also, my favorite skating publication "Skater's Edge" has quite an
interesting article on footwork by Bernard Ford, who was a World dance
champion in the sixties. One of the skaters he discusses is Gary
Beacom. In particular, he praises Beacom's ability to "work the blade
in one spot on the ice". One of the exercises in the article focuses on
stationary footwork a la Beacom.