Yes, you are doing this right. I can spin the board 360 in a board length doing this actually. The issue generally is the result of the rider not shifting their weight forward nearly enough onto the front foot. When you have nearly 100% of your body weight on that front foot, it does not take much movement to make a HUGE directional change.
Got it - for beginners, it seems counter-intuitive/dangerous to put weight on the front foot, especially on steeper terrain.
Absolutely this gets a lot easier with practice. A couple of things here. For one you mentioned doing this at low speed. Ever try leaning hard into a turn on a bike at slow speeds? Does not work out well does it? Try a little more speed when doing this. This speed generates centrifugal force in a turn that tends to pull you toward the outside of the turn just like on a bike. This force is actually a stabilizing force that counteracts the balance issue that tends to make you fall toward the inside of the turn.
Good point - I'll try and find a medium-banked slope to do this.
Remember on toeside to not just push the shins into the boots forward, but also drop the knee down toward the snow. More so with the front knee than the back. Do not use both knees yet; save that for when you start carving...
For now drop the front knee like you are proposing!
Lastly, to prevent this falling forward thing, you can use the "hump and dump" method. For toeside, push your pelvis out in front of you and arch the back to stay centered over the board. If done right you will feel a bit "obscene" at first....
The "dump" part is for heelside; squatting more as if your were taking a dump. Graphic I know, but it is a great memory aid...
Got it - helpful visuals. It's tough to know how this is gonna feel without being the mountain strapped up - there is no way to practice this without the board, huh?
Now, a little "anticipatory rotation" of the upper body is totally appropriate for turn initiation; especially since you are fighting the "open shoulder syndrome". For heelside, slightly twist your hips heelside and look over the front shoulder, allowing the front shoulder to move over the top of your heel edge. This sets up your upper body ideally for a very positive heelside turn initiation. For toeside, twist the hips toeside while pushing that front knee down and in. Use the front hand to actually point to where you want to go for now. This is not the ideal way to steer later on, but right now do this as a training aid to help you remember to close your front shoulder. Believe me, when you simply point where you want to go in the toeside turn, everything else feels like it just happens automatically....
I think this is the part I'm going to struggle the most with. So thinking about this...essentially the rotation of the hips is to help initiate the turns. On toeside, pushing the knee down and in helps the board cut to the right quicker?