This article analyzes the East German figure skater Gaby Seyfert's costuming, music selection, and choreography from television broadcasts of her competitive and show performances between 1963 and 1970. My analysis shows that she aesthetically adhered to prescriptions of SED ideology by following GDR dance styles, incorporating ballet and folk-dance steps and exuding an embodied "Sovietness," thus cultivating a large fan base in the GDR and the Soviet Union. This success brought more interest to figure skating and strengthened the image of East German skating against the capitalist West. After 1969 her performances began expressing Western features due to the influences of her continued exposure to international travel, her Eislauf-Familie (ice-skating family), and access to Western media, all of which allowed her to explore her own Eigensinn (personal agency). I argue that her career carved out an alternative form of East German resistance while working within the confines of the GDR.


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pp. 111-137
Launched on MUSE
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