The Aswan Dancers


Are a San Francisco troupe

dedicated to entertaining and educating

the public about Middle Eastern Culture through

Music and Dance




Belly Dance Classes

Rhythm Classes

Workshops & Events

Susu's CDs for sale

Carnival of Stars Side Show

Carnival of Stars Belly Dance Queen


Giza Club

Giza Awards

Giza Film Festival

Pasha Band



El Leil

ba olek eh (present)

ba olek eh (beginning)

Bagdad Nights


Shaabi History & Songs

Song Translations

Aswan Dancers DVDs

Photos - Aswan Dancers

More Photos + Amina

Amina Goodyear Bio

Contact us





The Gilded Serpent presents...
Dancing on the Edge
by Amina
Conceived between a dirty movie house, a strip joint and a massage parlor, the group called "Aswan Dancers" was born in 1975 at the Bagdad Cabaret in San Francisco. My favorite memory of the Bagdad goes back to 1965. It was the first time I had worked with Fatma Akef, and an Egyptian dancer, and Fatma's husband, Ishmael, also known as "Gilli Gilli." They were all that represents Egypt, but they were here in America! Every night before the show began, the dancers, clad in beledy dresses, would dance together on the stage while the musicians warmed up. Fatma (sister and dance partner to the great Egyptian dance legend Naima Akef) was making up little routines and I chased her around the stage trying to figure out what she was doing. click here to continue


The idea of The Aswan Dancers came about at

the Bagdad Cabaret in San Francisco in 1975.

I wanted people to see that there is more to

Middle Eastern Dance than just Belly Dance.

Amina at the Bagdad doing the debke (1975)


Doing the debke (1977)

(Suzi, Susu, Claudia, Telma)


Amina and Susu after performing debke at

the Arab Cultural Center Fair (1977)


The Aswan Dancers performing debke (1979)

(Shamira, Suzi, Telma, Teri, Eleanor, Claudia, MaryAnne)


Performing Port Said (1979)

(Susu, Teri, Eleanor, MaryAnne)


Telma and Shamira at Rakassah (1982)


We liked to take the essence of the ghawazee

dance and costuming and make it our own (1982)

(Erena and Shamira)


Amina as a boy performing a Turkish folk dance (1982)


1982 was a great year - We found guys to dance with us

(Michael, Tim, Bobby)


Their debut performance (1982)

(cw from back-Ernest, Bobby, Tim, Michael)


From Tale of the Bashful Bride (1982)

(cw from back- Michael, Tim, Bobby, Ernest)


From The Tale of the Evil Eye (1982)

This dance was inspired by Mahmoud Reda (1982)

(Telma, MaryAnne, Eleanor)


From Tale of the Drunken Husband (1982)

(Shamira, Erena, Telma with Esther in the foreground)


Preparing for a show at SFSU (1985)

(Bobby and George Dabai)


Michael and Amina


Where are the snacks

(George Dabai, Erena, Michael, Amina)


At Lone Mt. College (1985)

(Ernest, Amina, Latif)


Latif in Algerian garb (1985)


Dunya Tanya, Shamira, Sssilvia


Al Qafila (1985)

(Dunya Tanya, Horacio, Sssilvia)


Latif (1985)


The Aswans got a weekly gig at Zorba's S.F. (1985)

(Gregangelo and Amina)


Our North Africa Show (1986)

(cw from back Ernest, Michael, Mark, Yassir, Roger)


MECDA 20th Anniversary Gala


And here we are today

(performing Hamza by Madonna)

(Shara, Nawal, Amina, Nabila, Cathy)


Bob al Asmar waiting to perform



The Aswan Dancers
829 Elizabeth Street
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 282-7910