There's been some talk amongst DC-area belly dancers about undercutting, and frankly, there's no excuse for charging less than the going rate.
Some of my fellow dancers have posted some thoughtful entries on the subject matter, and I'd like to bring these to your attention:
Brooke/Lyra: "So you wanna go pro"
Shems: Mostly directed to DC-area dancers, but non-DC dancers might find some useful information here.
I just want to add my philosophical 2 cents. Undercutting is not only detrimental to the community, but also I believe it is unethical. Why? Because it causes harm. It does service to no one, and ultimately hurts everyone involved:
- the dancer who lost a gig because her client hired someone else charging less than the going rate;
- the client who doesn't get a quality, professional performance if they hire an undercutter;
- the undercutter who does herself a disservice by not charging what she's worth;
- the audience who sees another mediocre bellydance performance by someone not ready to dance;
- the dance community who suffers writ large when the general public believes that this dance is nothing better than the mediocre undercutter.