Originally Posted by borntoski683
can you please elaborate more on how you teach beginners to ski from the hips?
Everything I do is derived from the hesitant student that gets into a blocking body position, staring down the hill, paniced, and you scare them with a "What the hell is that!" pointing to the side, and magically someone who couldn't turn, does.
When I'm walking to the beginer area with my students, we're talking, I ask them to think about what the first thing they do is before they start to turn when walking. After some discussion, most people agree that there is a slight turn of the hips to allow the feet and body to move in a new direction.
What I do is have everyone feel that the movement from parallel to wedge in actually a movement from the femur/hip joint, and not in the feet/ankles or knees. Then I have them going from a neutral standing position to a wedged position without skis on (standing on their heels - which doesn't work to well, and then more in a balanced position, which does work well). Then I have them try to same thing with skis on, allowing them to have flat skis and moving both into a wedge balanced. This way I can get them to "feel" that they don't really have to fight the skis or squat into a breaking wedge, they can make the wedge as big or little as they want with little effort.
Then, standing in a small balanced wedge, I have them say "I want to go there" looking where they want to go, left or right. If they look only with their head, I have them point, reaching across their body. You can then ask if they feel their hip turn a little (in the direction they are pointing). Then, you can also have them feel how that slight turn in the hip shifted them on their skis, slightly edging the outside ski and flattening and starting to get the feeling of steering a flat inside ski.
To start turning, I have my students "look" (with their shoulders) where they want to go, in a slow movement, starting out wanting to go down the hill, then slowly into the turn (describing driving around a corner, you only focus inside of the headlights, not at your ultimate target). While this does introduce a bit of excessive upper body movement, it has them feel the difference between a balanced (flat skis in a wedge or very subtle edging) and unbalanced stance (heavier snow/edge angles, weight more on their heels, which they already felt was harder to hold/form a wedge) and turn (balanced they almost flow through the turn, as opposed to the unbalanced fighting around the turn), and that they are shifting their center (hip) inside and opening into the turn slightly (very subtly introducing upper/lower body separation without telling them that yet).