There are many belly dancers out there who absolutely refuse to work in restaurants, but I am a firm believer and example of when dancing at a restaurant can go right. I have made a great living dancing in restaurants 3-7 days a week, every week, for the past five years. Many times the horror stories occur due to girls working for low rates, working with owners they hate, or in places that are not safe. While dancing at restaurants has its ups and downs, I have acquired the perfect venues over the years that keep me sharp. I have chosen to perform at my select venues because they have shown that they value my work. These restaurants have taken good care of me and have provided me with some pretty amazing opportunities.
I also find that dancing on a full time basis has really benefited my clients as I am continually improving and practicing my skills, learning to deal with different issues as they arise, and have gained the showmanship it takes to keep an audience going for hours. If I were to perform only once every couple of months I feel it would not allow me to provide my clients with the high standard shows that I promise. In order to deliver, I believe practicing almost every day is key.
Most importantly, I think that it is the duty of all serious belly dancers to show the world how family friendly and tasteful belly dance is and the more of us out there working and setting a good example, the better the end result will be.