Lift off into a tail-in hover, then use the rudder to turn the heli to a left side-in orientation. You should turn very slowly to avoid losing orientation, and increase the turn rate as your proficiency improves.
Once you can hover both left-in and right-in hovering, you should increase practice more on the weaker orientation to strengthen it. This is very important to avoid developing "handedness" in orientation. After left-in and right-in hovering, you might choose to learn nose-in hovering. Some people say this is "very difficult" but really it's just another orientation to learn. If you've learned three orientations, you might as well learn the fourth before you go on to the next part.
It's probably okay to remove the training gear after you are fairly comfortable with side-in hovering or nose-in hovering. The removal of the training gear will change the flight characteristics of the helicopter and make it more sensitive to stick input, so this will require some mental adjustment. After you have removed the training gear, you should hover at about 3ft to eye level.
I would recommend spending at least two months learning each hovering orientation to ensure you are very comfortable with each orientation. When you can hover entire packs with each orientation and feel reasonably in control of the heli, you are probably ready to progress to the next stage.