It's interesting that Anderson and her husband, the great Lou Reed, may he rest in peace, were passionate about t'ai chi. He was sick for many years, and turned to tai chi as a form of non-invasive medical treatment.
I'm forwarding a video of Master Chen man ch'ing performing the entire Yang form, which is what you're studying. Master Chen is accredited with bringing the Yang form of tai chi to the States, I believe in the 50s. You'll see the light and easy way he does that first move. It's just a formal way of moving into the start, or our tai chi stance with both feet parallel and shoulder width apart and saying ... "now we can begin"