|In mild terrain I have no problem making linked turns by:
a) pressing down on the appropriate toe to initiate the turn,
b) letting my weight shift to that ski, and;
c) letting my other ski sort of fall into place.
Yet, when I work out with my skiers edge I use a very different motion. Now, I realize that one is a machine and one is real life, but I figure that I have reason to suspect that I'm doing something wrong.
You are correct, the two motions are different. You have described defensive skiing whereas the skiers edge mimics offensive skiing moves. Defensive, meaning an initial move to start the turn that is towards the saftey of the new outside ski (ski on the outside of the turn). On your skiers edge you extend towards the new turn direction or, into the direction of the new turn.
With you're description of your turn above, I have a picture of someone doing a defensive wedge christie on fairly easy terrain. The intitial move is press down on the new outside ski toes and move your weight over to that ski and then match the new inside ski by moving it over there. These moves are all natural. Mind you, I am only guessing from your description.
What to expect from a PMTS instructor (I am not sure there are any in your area). First off there are some good things that they would see. You are able to balance, slide, stop effectively and transfer weight. Step one, trash the evil wedge and tell you to never return to it.(trying to get you to stop twisting your feet.) Next would be do some easy traverses to get you to effectively balance on the uphill ski. Second would be to get you to balance on the uphill ski with your downhill ski pulled back to nearly match your uphill ski. (This would force you to pressure the uphill boot tongue with your shin). Next on very easy terrain would be to guide you to tip the downhill,in the air foot, very slightly in the direction of the turn. This tipping will very gently get you to start riding the inside edge of the uphill ski and carve a very shallow arc. I would continue until you were comfortable in both directions.
The thing I would be looking for is to make sure you have your uphill shin in contact with the boot tongue and that you intitiate your turns by tipping the foot that is in the air. Some skidding of the ski your standing on is ok.
As an ATS instructor I would try to get you to understand that you always need to flow with the turn. Some important things that you should know. Aussuming you're not blind, your eyes are very important to your skiing. When riding a bike you will notice that where you focus on the road is almost invaribly the exact spot the front wheel traces. So it is with skiing. I want you to get use to the idea that you should trace with your eyes the track of the turn that you want to ski. You're skis are much more likely to follow where you want them to go. You should be moving your eyes constantly through the turns. Let your upper body follow your eyes. Now instead of pushing down with the toe and transfering weight, think into the turn and move the foot that will be on the insided of the turn by tipping it slightly in the direction of the turn. This flattens the new insided ski and allows release into the turn. Now I would encourage you to guide both feet naturally towards the turn and let the disign of the skis do the work. I would not care if you were still partially in a wedge. If you were relaxed, muscle tension gone, the turn would be near effortless. Its that simple if I can make you believe it.
Both methods take full advantage of new ski design. The approaches are different. Hope this helps.