I'm glad you like the animations. Here's a newer (improved?) version of the Basic Parallel Turns animation that I think you are referring to in particular:
You are right that my stance is not "wide." But it is very much "open," allowing the all-important mechanism of "independent leg steering," and it is sufficiently wide to promote all the edging and tipping movements needed for these turns. It is probably a bit wider than it may appear to you, too--I'd say there are at least 6" between the inside edges of my skis throughout these turns. Appearances can deceive.
The only time you can really see how far apart skis are is when the skier is coming straight at you, not turning--and I'll bet you'll be too busy diving for cover to notice stance width then! Look at this illustration to show how LEGS can be close together, even in an open stance:
A stance any wider would be unnatural for me (not necessarily someone else) in these gentle turns, would involve unnecessary work, and would require me to have to contort my legs to maintain the same edge angles. These are very relaxed turns, fairly low speed, with only gentle edge angles and pressures to manage.
I rarely think about stance width in my own skiing, and it varies widely (and narrowly!), depending on the circumstances.
An open (not necessarily wide) stance is critical for independent leg steering, which is perhaps the defining, fundamental movement of contemporary skiing. Wider adds more power to the leg-steering mechanism, and I'll allow my stance to open wider when I need this power. Wider also allows the legs to tip more, and my stance will open substantially when I get "more dynamic" with higher speeds, steeper hill angles, and higher edge angles.
A wider stance also enhances the ability push your body (center of mass) left and right, which is important when making sudden, unanticipated, changes in line. But when the CM is already moving the direction you want for continued balance, there is no need to disturb its motion. These relaxed turns in the animation simply don't require a stance any wider than my relaxed, naturally open-but-not-wide stance. My stance is comfortably narrow here because it CAN be, but certainly not because it HAS to be!
Bob Barnes[ May 08, 2004, 02:51 PM: Message edited by: Bob Barnes/Colorado ]