Most places these days offer a free trial class, which is a great way to try something new. Over my years of offering free trial classes there has been many good and bad aspects. I personally feel that trialing a dance class or other activity when your child is 6/7 and under should be more about seeing what the place has to offer than how your child enjoys or likes the activity. The older the child the more likely they can decide if the class/studio is what they are looking for but even then there are many factor that can determine the outcome of a trial class. We recommend you sign up for one term at least and then decide if the new activity or class is for you. If you like the studio and what they have to offer.
Here are just a few reasons why trialing one class can be problematic:
Is it the first class of the term?
Many times the first class of the term can be taken up by learning names of new students or even a new teacher having to learn everyones names. Finding out how school holidays where and getting to know each other. There can be recap on the previous year or terms work or even giving out lesson details and working out levels. Although all this sounds normal this can take up time that is normally used for dancing and learning new exercises. In return this will give an inaccurate idea of what the classes are actually like.
My child didn't seem engaged in the class...
I have had a couple of little 3 years old that have signed up for a whole term and for the first 4 weeks did absolutely nothing in class. They just stood there and watched. Just when the parent thinks it's time to give up the child turns up to class and does everything better than the kids that have done it every week for the last 4 weeks. Some kids want to watch before they do, they need to have the confidence within themselves that they can do it before they will move. This can only be determined by giving them a chance to watch and get comfortable with a few weeks worth of classes.
My child just rans around and wouldn't listen to the teacher...
Coming into a new environment with mirrors, mats, barre, balls and so much more can be really overwhelming for a young child. Even having to listen to someone they have never meet can be very confronting and intimidation. For a little brain they can not understand why they need to listen to some random person they just met and do what this person says. In a class with a few kids it might seem like the teacher doesn't know how to control your child but just remember that she has other children to also teach. Over the next few weeks your child will start seeing the other children listening and doing the exercises, they will learn that when the teacher talks they need to listen, it's all a process that can take each child a different amount of time. The older the child the faster this normally improves.
My child just isn't a dancer...
Now this one really gets to me when the child is only little and does one term or one class of dance. Dance is a process and even the most uncoordinated children can learn how to dance and enjoy it. Just remember that dance is not just about being the best its about what it has to offer you child (you can read all about that in my post '10 reasons to enrol your child into dance'). Sometimes giving your child a shoot is all they need. If the child hates the class and doesn't want to go back that is different but if the parents just decides their child is horrible that doesn't really give their child a chance the child will not have a chance to progress and improve. Just give your child a shoot even if you think they look awkward, its about more that winning.
Are the students having a bad day?
Some classes I have found can be really hard to teach, some days, the students all seem really tired and just not on their 'A game' like they normally are. This is perfectly normal sometimes we just have a bad day. Sometimes no matter how many times we try something that we are able to do every other week it just doesn't work. Does that mean the class is not for your child? One class gives you one chance to see what it is like and everyone has a bad day even the teacher. Give it a proper go, instead of having one class determine your view.
Becoming a dancer is not something that happens in one class. Dancing takes years and deciding if your child is a dancer after one trial class is not the best way to look at it. Trial classes to see what the Studio, Academy or Club is like not if your child is a dancer or not. Give them a term to see if this is something they love or not.
That term can be a start of something very special for your child.