7 Tips to Make your Cues Count: What’s Your Fluff?

What is your “fluff”? Do you have a phrase you use as a crutch when you are searching for words or trying to fill the silence in a classroom? Everybody does! Using these cue prefaces are not always inherently wrong, but it is important to be conscientious of how often we use them within a class or private session. Nichole Anderson, NCPT

The Fluff: “I want you to…Go ahead and…Now we’re going to…Beautiful…Great…I invite you to…”

By reducing “fluff terms”, intentional cues (and the instructor behind them) can shine.

Examples of “fluff” cues:

I want you to (come to hands and knees)

Go ahead and (bring your hands behind your head)

Now we’re going to (inhale) I invite you to (reach for your legs)

Why are direct cues important?

Direct cues convey your instruction clearly and concisely. Cutting out the “fluff” or crutch words gives your meaningful cues the space to really stick. Pilates instructors who utilize concise cues are likely to be more easily understood by speakers of other languages.

Concise cues help keep your student’s attention. They are more clear for a beginner Pilates mover. The silence in a room allows the mover to be in their body, integrate, and process the cues conceptually and physically.

(Discover how utilizing Imagery changes the way we move)

7 Tips to make your Cues Count:

  1. Record yourself teaching. Have you ever recorded yourself teaching on video or voice recorder? The feedback of listening to yourself can be revelatory.
  2. Transcribe your teaching script from the recording. Write out every word you used. “Welcome to class everyone, we will start out with 3 red springs for footwork…um…”
  3. Take a deep breath if you feel the need to search for words.
  4. Be thoughtful with your cues. Do your cues speak to the room in front of you? Did the cue you just said affect the change you were attempting to create? Take the time to use cues that are valuable.
  5. Allow for silence in the room. This can allow students space to integrate the cues you give. It also gives you the space as a teacher to watch the room and think about what cues will be beneficial to your class or clients.
  6. Notice what “fluff” language you lean towards and consider utilizing that language when it is really meaningful. For example, if your crutch word is “beautiful,” think of times when that word really makes sense in the context of what you are teaching and use it with confidence and intention.
  7. Speaking of intention…if you always teach from a place with deep intention, your cues will shine and your clients will flourish.

(How are your Cue’s being perceived by your students?)

Discover Nichole Anderson, NCPT on Social Media @nicholemoves and Nicholemoves.com

Polestar Educator Nichole Anderson, NCPT has been teaching for over 10 years. Her first comprehensive was with Bob Schroedter and Cynthia McGee LaPortilla in 2004. Nichole began as a Polestar Mentor under Educators Amy Broekemeier and Dannielle Holder in Salt Lake City, Utah where she taught group and private Pilates from 2010 – 2016. She has assisted Transition courses with Shelly Power and led Pilates education in Miami, New York, and Israel. Nichole is the assistant director of education for Polestar Pilates International and manages domestic education in the United States.

Reader Interactions


  1. Yes! Thank you for this post! We Pilates teachers talk so much! Talking less is not just good for our students (so they can internalize the cues we give them), but we need to save our voices for our own sake!
    In writing, the golden rule is to cut everything that’s not absolutely necessary. Cut cut cut. I’ve been using this advice for my teaching as well!

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