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Carlos Chapeton

Carlos Chapeton

Director/Co-Owner

Years in business: 11
Location: San Mateo County, CA
# of Students: 900+
Enrollment: Year Round
Tuition: Monthly

My Take: This is a question that gets asked often among studio owners. I think the question to ask is, “If I had a child, would I be more likely to try an activity if the first class were free?” My guess is the answer would almost certainly be, yes! We have offered trial dance classes the entire time our school has been in business. It’s a great way to encourage families to come in the door. I don’t see a downside to it. If a family was going to come in anyway, giving them a free class doesn’t cost you much. If a family was on the fence about trying dance, knowing they have a free class to try it gives them the extra push they need to come in the door. In my experience I haven’t had any families come in just to do a free class just for the sake of it being free. We have above a 90% retention rate from free trials. If you have confidence in your program/staff, I would highly recommend it. We offer free trials year round.

How we do it: We have had one policy in that time and it has never changed. All new students get one free trial class. After their trial class they have a 3 day grace period to decide if they want to DECLINE the spot before we begin billing. If all is well and they liked the class, there is nothing more the parents need to do. We see them the following week and continue.

Note that I emphasized DECLINE in the paragraph above. In order for our policy to work all new dancers must fully enroll in their dance class. Meaning they are technically enrolled when they come to the trial class. They then have 3 days to DECLINE their spot. We send a follow up email to all families the day after their trial to check in and remind them they are enrolled. If we don’t hear from them within the three days we complete the registration process by charging their credit card. At that point all billing policies are in place. We require a 30 day notice to stop classes one the 3 day grace period ends.

Carlos Chapeton

Director/Co-Owner

Years in business: 11
Location: San Mateo County, CA
# of Students: 900+
Enrollment: Year Round
Tuition: Monthly

My Take: This is a question that gets asked often among studio owners. I think the question to ask is, “If I had a child, would I be more likely to try an activity if the first class were free?” My guess is the answer would almost certainly be, yes! We have offered trial dance classes the entire time our school has been in business. We have had one policy in that time and it has never changed. All new students get one free trial class. After their trial class they have a 3 day grace period to decide if they want to DECLINE the spot before we begin billing. If all is well and they liked the class, there is nothing more the parents need to do. We see them the following week and continue.

How we do it: Note that I emphasized DECLINE in the paragraph above. In order for our policy to work all new dancers must fully enroll in their dance class. Meaning they are technically enrolled when they come to the trial class. They then have 3 days to DECLINE their spot. We send a follow up email to all families the day after their trial to check in and remind them they are enrolled. If we don’t hear from them within the three days we complete the registration process by charging their credit card. At that point all billing policies are in place. We require a 30 day notice to stop classes one the 3 day grace period ends.