Nev, I struggled with this myself for many years and am happy to say I'm finally getting considerably better at it. If I could give you one cue to try, without actually seeing you ski, it would be when swinging your pole forward, think about bringing your hand up as much as you think about bringing it forward.
Everyone always says to think of tossing a cup of water down the track ahead of you, but that just cues you to swing forward and back, not up and down. I wasn't kicking down hard enough to set the wax well before kicking to the rear, and that was because my position was too stretched out with weight not well centered over the wax pocket. Bringing my hands up in front of my face improved everything. It got me to stand up straighter, which helped center my weight over the wax pocket, which made it easier to engage the wax to the snow, which made it easier to ski "high hips" like we are always told to do, etc, etc.
Yeah that make sense, I've always found the hips stuff to be really hard to make work as you say.
Shakira was huge the summer I lived England. It was not what I was expecting.