The classical steps in learning to fly a heli are:
The first step to flying a helicopter is tail-in hovering. At this step, you are learning to remotely balance an unstable object using a joystick.
Side-in hovering and tail-in hovering
When you reach the side-in and tail-in hovering step, the controls are no longer relative to yourself, and you learn to balance the helicopter in different orientations.
90/180/270 degree turns
When you reach the 90/180/270 degree turning step, you learn to follow the heli as it changes orientation.
Forward flight and figure eights
At this step, you learn to coordinate the throttle with your cyclic to enter/exit forward flight, and also to coordinate the rudder to perform banked turns.