There's a little more to it than just getting paid, but I will just address this issue. Here's the answer: Get paid up front. When someone books you for a gig, be very clear on the terms of payment. Get a 50% deposit in advance and the balance at the gig before you perform. Generally speaking if its a regular gig, you can trust the employer to make payment.
I can't tell you how many dancers that have told me that they got cheated out of payment. It happened to me too when I was new to belly dancing. Wish I had a mentor back then.
Don't be afraid to stand your ground and get paid.
Happy Belly Dancing,