s skier heads toward new traverse line, inside ski swings quickly alongside the outside ski, then comes to rest on snow parallel to the outside ski.
kier leans forward slightly and uses momentum from swing of inside ski to initiate important heel-push action that ends the turn in the traverse line.
Traverse ballet: skis parallel
The traverse ballet is the first exercise in which you make the skis weave back and forth together in short, connected turns. Traverse ballet moves across the hill rather than down the hill, and the skis never cross the fall line. The exercise starts with a heel push while you are traversing at relatively slow speed. This puts you in a strong position to start the quick, springing lift with both skis together that is stressed in the traverse ballet. The spring carries the tails of the skis toward the fall line. The spring is an exaggeration of the subtle lift used in parallel skiing and Wedeln. Overemphasis of the leg spring at this stage trains the reflexes for the essential springing movements that provide lift. (In the classic Wedeln, the lift is often so subtle it passes unnoticed.) Keep the hop uphill a short one. The tails of the skis should travel just over the traverse line. During the hop you will have to shift weight and counterswivel energetically to stay in balance. You land in a bent-leg position, skis almost flat. A quick straightening of the legs now supplies the minute lift necessary to start the tails of the skis sliding downhill. As the skis slide back to the traverse line, the downhill movement of the tails is continued without a break and blends into a heel push that supplies the take-off platform for the next turn.
kier starts moving (left) at slight angle to traverse line, then shifts his weight slightly forward to initiate heel push (second figure from left).
ails of skis lift rapidly off snow in short arc toward fall line. Upper body starts the counterswiveling movement.
kis land flat and at angle to the traverse line. Upper body leans quickly into hill to maintain skier's balance.
eel push, initiated by a slight leg spring and counterswivel of the upper body, returns skis to the traverse line.
A gradual hill is needed for traverse ballet practice. Pair of tracks at left above indicates skis at slight angle to traverse line. Next pair shows position of skis after initial heel push has been accomplished, bringing skier into traverse line. Third pair indicates position as skier lands after lifting tails of skis uphill. Last pair shows how heel push brings skis back into traverse line in position for uphill hop that starts cycle over again.
Hop ballet: across the fall line
In hop ballet the skis are lifted together through the fall line for the first time. The exercise puts a final polish on your ability to lift quickly and accurately. Be sure that you start the turn with leg spring. Let the arms and body follow. On steep terrain there is a temptation to start the turn by counterswiveling with the arms and upper body, an error which leads to improper edging and a probable fall. In this turn you can cut down on the amount of counterswivel so that the upper body faces downhill during a greater part of the turn. Do not abandon the counterswivel altogether, however. Expert skiers always counterswivel when they connect turns even though their counterswiveling may be so subtle it is hard to spot. The shorter the countermovement, the easier it is to connect hop ballet turns. Ultimately you should be able to connect turns in such a fashion that you can progress down a steep slope close to the fall line at moderate, controlled speeds. The long leap of the ballet hop forces you to keep your upper body over your boots—essential in negotiating steep terrain. If you let your weight go back as you start down a steep pitch, your upper body may not catch up to your skis and you are likely to end up out of control.
Large mogul offers best terrain for hop ballet turn. Drop-off on downhill side of mogul reduces amount of spring necessary to keep skis clear of ground until the tails have moved through 90� arc. For connected hop ballet turns, a smooth steep hill with 35� slope or more forms good terrain.