Getting started skiing will most likely (and quite honestly should) involve some basic instruction. Hitting the slopes before a skier is ready can result in unnecessary injury or just simply a bad time. Learning how to ski isn't difficult in and of itself, but learning how to ski well takes time.
Two of the most important basic skills to perfect are movement and stance. Both come into play whether you're skiing cross-country or downhill and they can make all the difference in the world if they are learned correctly. If proper technique isn't learned and practiced, the consequences can range from just making the sport seem undoable for the new skier to down right dangerous.
Beginners should learn how to move in their skis first and foremost. The best way to get started on this is to actually have the boots and skis strapped on. Just try picking up one ski at a time and turning them from side to side on solid ground. There's no need to go downhill just yet. Get accustomed to the feel and what comes into play to make the skis go where you want them to before you worry about anything else.
Another smart thing to practice before attempting a major ski run is the basic stance involved. How the skis are held and how the body is postured can be a very big deal. If the skis are held in a proper stance, the chance of falling over with movement is lessened. If it's not, well then down you'll quite likely go.
The best way to stand with skis on for Alpine action is to have the feet shoulders-width apart with the toes pointing slightly inward. This creates a V-shape and is commonly called the snow plow. This basic stance is great for developing a firm standing on the snowy ground and enables a whole host of movements, as well. This is a good one to practice over and over again with bending included to develop a feel for what's needed to stay up and balanced while moving.
Basic movements and the stance are key to learning how to ski correctly. They should be practiced and understood before downhill movement takes place. With a little time, skiing can become as second nature as walking or driving a car. It just takes some practice and patience.