This past spring I observed a group of five skiers and an instructor/clinician practicing what I would call mid-air edge changes during the early part of a new turn. The terrain was groomed blue, and the skiers looked like high-intermediate or higher in terms of ability. Another person who was also watching told me that the group was being tested for a certain level of ski instructing, and that this was one of the kinds of turns they had to be able to make. It seemed to me to be a lot of extra work, and unnecessary work, to make a turn. Contrary to what I saw, I have been told to keep my edges in contact with the snow as much as possible, but those skiers were deliberately raising their edges off the snow.
If efficiency is a goal of good skiing, the extra work cannot be considered efficient, can it? Why were these instructors being required to make this kind of movement on easy blue terrain? Is this movement useful for certain terrain or for a certain intensity of skiing? Is it a prelude for another specific kind of skiing movement? What would you suggest for a progression to teach it to someone like me, a recreational skier? Where and when would I use it?
With a little research I found the movement on a couple of instructor websites (Rocky Mountain and Western) in video clips, so, it must be important for some aspects of skiing, but I could find no explanation of why it is important or what the step by step process would be for learning how to do it. I want to learn how to do it, just for the heck of it, if only because it looks like a good way to get warm, quickly, on a cold morning!
Can any of you provide answers in this regard? Thank you, in advance.