Metaphor's emphasis is something I have heard, but usually in the context of having the luxury of much mileage over many days to give a new skier time to move through the wedge stages to basic parallel, just by lots of skiing and by choosing terrain that helps 'stuff happen'.
As mileage increases, confidence increases, speed increases, and the wedge gradually diminishes and disappears. They start moving laterally without knowing it as they start matching the inside ski during the ‘wedge christy’ phases. A lot of 'stuff just happens', without having to specifically teach it, but if you do have to teach it, in a one- or two-hour lesson, well, that was the crux of my request to hear more about release.
The subsequent exchanges between Oisin and Metaphor show, to me, that these two writers are not really different with respect to the need to somehow get the upper body moving to the side, that is, laterally. In that vein I will describe what I frequently see one instructor doing on the beginner flats and how she coaxes scarred-stiff adult beginners and intermediates to move side-to-side.
While in the "athletic stance" she dangles her ski poles under her chin like a plumb-bob, straightens one leg more than the other, creating what appears to be a slight "up" movement, but which also moves the upper body and plumb-bob poles laterally. The poles provide a visual effect to identify the center of the body. Given that the feet are attached, the lateral movement of everything above the feet causes the feet to tip, and if the boots are not too loose, the tipping feet tip the skis off their edges, thus, edge release occurs. Through it all the plumb-bob ski poles stay between the two skis, which are in a comfortable wedge.
She has the students practice that lateral movement in place, not while sliding. The important limit of this exercise is that the lateral movement stops when the plumb-bob is directly over the top of the ski; it does not pass over to the scary other side of the ski. Going over to the other side of the skis is the scary, unnerving part of this whole business, because the skier is no longer securely in balance.
By confining the lateral movements to the area between the wedged skis, the student will maintain the security of remaining in balance while learning the lateral (side-to-side) movement.
Then, down the flats they go, weaving side to side like Drunken Sailors, except that each ‘weave’ is intentional. As they move the body to one side, the ski on that side releases. Move body to the right and the right ski’s edge flattens and releases. Move body to left and left ski’s edge flattens and releases. Said another way: Right foot for right turn; left foot for left turn.
Then she does what TOG described above in post #97, on a gentle slope:
How to get the commitment downhill?
A tough one.
Start with side slipping. Virtually everyone who won't go downhill in their skiing tries to sideslip while leaning uphill. You can't just tip the skis and lean uphill to side slip. You'll fall over or before that lean on the uphill and that ski gets caught while the downhill moves away.
If they have trouble committing downhill to sideslip - that is, they won't move the body the 1 inch downhill to start. I'll brace my ski underneath their downhill but just a few inches away. That way they're only going to slide a few inches no matter what. Then you can put your hand just like an inch away or less from their hip/pelvis and have them move towards the hand. They do that and feel the skis release. Then continue with sideslips.
Looking out the window right now, I see the Drunken Sailor drill in progress on the Magic Carpet slope. It works to teach release at the earliest possible time in a new skier’s climb up the skills ladder. If a present-day intermediate cannot do this drill, I suggest going to the beginner slope or a flat and learning to do it. It will start your departure from the Intermediate Plateau. Then do TOG’s routine.
Happy Easter, everyone!