Yeah, you guys, you have me pegged. Wedeln >tail wagging< in german, was the ultimate in skiing, a religion, when I came to Amerika.
And was then and is now terribly misunderstood here. First, skiers here literally translated >tail wagging< into pushing the tails from side to side while sitting back, the other literally translated term >fersenschub<, meaning heel push, didn't help.
Actually, those terms described what wedeln looked like, not how it was done. Wedeln was the forerunner of the modern shortswing and is done exactly like it with a very close stance, pole plants as you do them now and a quiet body moving down the fall line.
The trick is weighting and edge control when wedeln on groomed, through the moguls or in powder. With the straight skis then (and with shaped skis now) the weight was kept forward and and a slight up-unweighting took place at the pole plant. That lighhtened the tails of the skis which could be rapidly moved side to side against a stable upper body mass and some weight transfer was done as if walking, a rapid step-step-step from one ski to the other, and contrary to present belief, weight transfer and independent leg action can and does take place when skiing with no daylight showing between the legs. But nobody could do any wedeln with knees tied together, you were expected to be able to ski well before you learned it.
We old timers can make three turns a second easy on groomers
.. the down side of wedeln was that there wasn't much speed control on steeper terrain and the result was that the shortswing evolved which uses a harder edge set, more across the fall line and thus takes longer to go from side to side.
But wedeln was the forerunner of minimal body movement so sought after now. The idea is that the less mass you move to the one side, the less you have to move back to the other side.
But carving is the new religion now and it seems to me that fine edge control is not in the quiver of too many new skiers.
BTW, did you know that in 1966 in Aspen, a four hour ski lesson in Curt Chase's ski school cost $8 and a special ski week, including a 6-day lift ticket and 6-day full day ski school lessons cost $60? And there were only six hotel-motels to stay in?
And a package deal of 7 days lodging, 21 meal tickets and and 6-day lift ticket was $80?
And that is only 34 years ago.