Please Don't Stop the Music: Amber Prowl’s Musical Love Affair
We’ve been shamelessly fan-girling over Amber Prowl (@amberprowl) since we were baby polers, and you can’t blame us. As a self-proclaimed free spirit, Amber unapologetically moves to the beat of her own drum. Her flow isn’t formulaic and her sensual style is pure liquid. Watching her dance, it’s apparent her affinity for music runs through her veins and pours out on the pole. Amber shares with us just how much music has shaped her life and gives her advice on overcoming freestyle fright.
Our founding quote is: “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” Who is Amber off the pole? How would you define yourself?
I’m super free spirited and independent. I’ve always been that way. I’ve always wanted to try new things and go to far places. I’m the crazy one of my family and friends. I love entertaining everybody and making them laugh. I want people to have a good time and have fun no matter what. I’m definitely the crazy fun one who gets into trouble. I don’t take myself too seriously. I’m an Aquarius so I think that makes sense.
How do you feel pole has helped you to break the mold of other people’s ideas of you and shaped the woman you are today?
This is always a toughie because I don’t really think about other people’s ideas of me. I just don’t really give a fuck. I’ve always been a dancer and performer, so I don’t think me doing pole came as a surprise to anybody. I do think now people see a more strong and artistic side of me. Instead of just dancing, with pole, you really have to work and train to get the technique and strength to do things gracefully, so I think they see that side of me more. More disciplined and artistic.
As far as shaping who I am today, before I found pole, it wasn’t even a thought in my head, but now it’s my life’s purpose. Everything that I’ve wanted out of life is in this pole package. My whole world revolves around pole and music. My dreams and what I want to get out of life, what I want to contribute to other people. It’s all so clear now because of pole. I definitely appreciate who I am.
Tell us more about your pole journey. How did you get started?
I had been Go-go dancing for several years and this new studio in the area really wanted to put on a go go cardio class, so I was applying to teach that class. I interviewed and did my demonstration for Go-go and at the end the owner told me she was a new studio and had a pole room and poles but no instructors. She asked if I wanted to learn and I was like hell yea! At the time it was brand new to me, I didn’t know pole even existed outside of strip clubs. I just fell into it like that.
Wow, what a cool story! We had no idea you Go-go dance as well. How did you get into that?
I was working at a costume shop and these girls came in one day super decked out in rave gear and I remember going, “What do you guys do and how can I do it?”. I just loved their outfits! One of the girls told me they were starting a group and told me to come audition the next weekend. I was like 19 and so I went, got all decked out. I go and it was in this warehouse! Super underground, fucking illegal party (laughs). I went and auditioned and just fell in love! Now we do huge shows and we’ve even danced for Tiesto.
Do you have a dance background?
Yes, I’ve always been involved with dance in some way. I was either on the drill team, or pep squad, or classes. I haven’t been super classically trained, but I’ve always been active.
We’ve noticed it seems like you do more pole performances than competitions, why is that?
It’s just because I like to make up my own rules. That’s kind of where the free spirit independent thing comes into play. I like to create without the pressures and anxiety of preparing for competition. Right now I just want to do things in my own way and in my own time. I’m not against it. I think competitions are badass and I think people who compete are badass. Right now I just want to make up my own rules and move however I want to.
You are also a music head. Tell us more about your love affair with music.
My dad has this huge record collection and has always played music. From as early as I can remember, he would always play music in the house. Chaka Khan, Stevie Wonder, Pat Metheny, all types of music, but with a heavy focus on jazz. That was the music for the household. Christmas time is our shit. We get in the car and sing Christmas carols and everybody has a part. One of my fondest memories of my dad is him sitting at his stereo, putting his headphones on, and jamming out. That was his time. That was such a cool thing to see and it’s so funny because I do that now.
You have a lot of really dope tattoos. We know you just got a really amazing one on your back. Do you mind sharing the meaning behind some of your tattoos?
I love them all! One of my favorites, I call her Rainbow Tits, is a design by Valfre. She does really bad ass stuff! Rainbow Tits was like girl power. Just straight girl power. Be badass, do your thing, have your tits out, be free. My back tattoo basically symbolizes me coming out of a very tough, dark time. I wanted to close out that chapter with something beautiful. The tattoo journey is very emotional and so fucking painful. But at the end, you don’t even remember it. You’re like yea it hurts, but who cares. And that’s how I wanted to close out that chapter. I know it was painful and emotional, but it ended up being this amazing beautiful thing and that’s kind of how the tattoo was.
In what ways have pole and music helped you to overcome challenges?
Pole is like therapy for sure. Anybody who poles knows that it’s like dance therapy. But, I mean, music has been there for me for the highest of highs. At my highest points I have music and I celebrate with music. And then it’s been there for me at rock bottom. Music is what I turn to for healing, help, and comfort before I turn to anything or anybody else.
How would you describe your pole style?
If I have to really pinpoint something, I would say I lean more towards exotic style. But, that’s just what comes naturally to me. I also like to shake my ass and grind and do all of those things. It really just depends on my mood at the time.
What is most important to you about your artistry?
Musicality is really important to me. I want my feelings about a particular song or piece to be translated and understood.
Musicality is a term that gets used a lot in the dance community. What does that word mean to you?
Musicality is rhythm and a shrewd understanding of sounds and instruments. It’s your body understanding sounds, beats, and words and being able to translate that into movement.
You have a special knack for freestyling. What advice would you give to someone who gets stuck when it comes to freestyling?
The advice I give to students and that I try to do for myself is to just keep going. Freestyling is really fun when you can get out of your head and allow your intuition to move you. A lot of times we’re worried about “How does this look? I think this looks silly? Is this sexy?” Instead of going with: “How do I feel doing this ? Do I feel really good? Do I feel sexy?” When you get stuck, literally keep moving. Work through that moment of feeling really silly until you come out of that and don’t feel ridiculous doing that movement anymore. Surrender to what your body does or doesn’t want to do.
Everyone has this kind of deer in the headlights look when they get stuck and stop and have to acknowledge it for some reason. It’s like we have to stop and acknowledge that we’re messing up or don’t know what we’re doing. It’s nice to learn to let that go. There’s no need to apologize to anyone. Just keep moving and doing your thing and you’ll find a way to pick back up your groove. Sometimes it helps to turn the music up, change the song, close your eyes and kind of get into it in that sense. Get into your body a little bit until you find that next transition. A lot of times we think “What’s the next trick”, but just try to sit there with yourself.
That is really beautiful advice. What is at the core of your teaching?
The core of my teaching is my students taking what I give them and making it their own. I feel like I’ve done my job when I look over at my students and they’re doing some shit I didn’t even give them. When they have their eyes closed and they’re in their own world moving and not even paying attention to what I’m doing or what anyone else in the class is doing. What makes me feel sexy or sensual isn’t going to be the same for someone else. If I’ve been doing twist body rolls one way for 100 hours and I expect you to do it in 1 hour, it’s just not the same. We all move differently. My goal is for my students to leave my class feeling good about themselves and feeling confident.
Do you have a playlist we can share with our readers?
I have several! Follow @amberprowl on Spotify. I’ve got a bunch on there that are public.
What are your current pole goals?
To travel and perform. To travel and teach. To just create videos and concepts and have a ball and shake my ass in peace. To graduate to 10 inch heels. And just chill out. I’m pretty simple. I’ve gotten real simple. That’s all I want.
What do you wish the world knew about pole dancing and pole dancers?
This is my favorite! Whenever I find myself talking to somebody who’s not very familiar with pole or they’re still a little closed minded, I always make this joke about how, “Your grandma probably just took a pole class”. And it’s because it’s true. There are so many types of amazing women and men participating in pole and it’s for a reason. It’s the most welcoming community I’ve ever been a part of. The entire pole community is constantly cheering for everyone. They cheer for all body types and all genders, all ages, and all shapes and all sizes. Everyone in the pole community is constantly cheering for everyone and that’s just my favorite thing about it. It’s really cool to see and be a part of.
Complete the statement, I pole because…
Pole is life *WINK*