We all want to have an opportunity to perform, but at what expense? At the expense of the standardized prices set by the Toronto Belly Dance community as a whole? At the expense of your expertise? At the expense of undervaluing this art form?
Too many times, dancers too eager to perform undercut the going rate and it hurts the belly dance industry as a whole. Many of us in the community have worked hard to earn what we professional belly dancers deserve. The standardized price is not limited to the 20 minute show. includes years of training, the cost of costumes and maintaining them, our on-going professional development, and the maintenance of our bodies, i.e. physiotherapy, massage therapy, pilates…
The dancers who undercut go against the spirit of the community – female empowerment. Undercutting can result in taking a regular show away from another dancer. This may benefit you in the short term, but in the long run, it ends up hurting you too. Not only are you are getting paid less than you deserve, but you also have sabotaged your chance of getting paid the proper, higher rate. Consequently, you have also brought the industry down and certainly you have lessened your chances of other dancers giving you other shows.
If we all stick together as a community of professional belly dancers and everyone abides by the standard rates, people will have no choice but to pay us our fee. Everyone wins in the end.
If you are worried that you won’t get that gig unless you undercut, think again. People are happy to pay for value. If you lessen the rate, you cheapen yourself as a dance professional and you cheapen the rest of the community at large.
If you don’t know the standard rates, FIND OUT! Respect yourself, your training, the art form and the community.
Here’s my link to the standardized Toronto Belly Dance Prices.