Here’s a point of view: You are a dancer who has newly moved into the top floor of an Apartment. You’re pumped about your first dance practice in the new home. You get out of bed excitedly, play some music and move happily to the tunes. 15 minutes into this engrossing session, you suddenly hear a loud banging on the door. You open the door to see that it’s your downstairs neighbours standing there, looking a bit uneasy. And there it comes – “Would you mind keeping the noise down? We’re getting disturbed downstairs.”
For a non-dancer this may not seem like that big of a deal. So your neighbours asked you to stop making so much noise. What’s the big harm? But only a dancer knows the importance and value of regular practise. Like any other art or skill, dancing requires daily dedication and hard work. But residing in an Apartment Building may not give as much free will as a dancer would have thought. If the dancing in apartment is a cause of disturbance for the neighbours, one can’t really blame them. This is a tricky situation, as according to society bye-laws, all residents sign up for peaceful and harmonious living when they move into a Housing Society.
How to control noise caused by dancing in apartment?
First and foremost, it’s not unreasonable to dance in your own apartment. Neither are those neighbours who have a problem with the disturbance caused by the dancing in apartment. So how can both parties reach a middle ground wherein dancers keep their noise levels to a minimum and neighbours develop some tolerance to the noise created? Here are some suggestions –
- Its clear that if your dancing involves a a lot of jumping or stomping of the feet, your neighbours might have a tough time with it. However, one way you could reduce the thumping on their ceilings is by getting one of those puzzle piece rugs. Basically, they are 2 inch thick foams to dance on top of. This can help reduce the noise impact of the stomping. Alternatively, you could also try dancing on a thick rug by placing a rubber mat underneath.
- It also depends on the dance form itself. You can do some dancing in your room. But its more stylized footwork or stomping that can cause an issue. You can try being light footed in your approach to avoid any noise. Spinning light footed is also a very useful skill for dancers anywhere. You don’t even have to dance full speed when you practice. You can dance at slow speeds wherein you’ll make less noise. Keep in mind that as a dancer, if you are landing super hard when you dance, it’s a little stressful on your joints. Try landing softly on your legs which will help you look much smoother in your movements too.
- If dancing in apartment still disturbs your neighbours despite controlling your movements or using a mat, try negotiating with your neighbours and ask if its okay to practice within certain hours. You can be apologetic, like: “sorry it’s a little loud. I promise to limit it to x hours on y days.” Make sure to stick to whatever timings both parties agree upon.
- Unfortunately, if your neighbours aren’t as tolerant as you expected them to be, you can’t continue dancing in your apartment. But one of the advantages of staying in an Apartment Community is availability of ample space in amenities like Gym, Clubhouse, etc. You could definitely practice in the Society Gym or Club with the Committee’s permission. Now, booking a facility is even easier with ADDA App. Book your facility anytime, anywhere to enjoy a blissfully uninterrupted dance session.
A word from Dancers…
We reached out to professional Dancers to understand their perspective on the issue. Here’s what they had to say –
“Oh I have fortunately never faced it. But many people have, so they have a talk with the neighbours about a time schedule which will suit their practice. A proper explanation always helps. With a big society, they go to the Society Hall or Gym.”
- Nikkita Banawalikar, Kathak Dancer and Teacher
“I am lucky enough to have neighbours who never complained about my practices even though the sound of the music or the sound of foot work involved in dance may have troubled them. In fact, there have been times when they have dropped in to see my practice. So from my side, I avoid practicing or playing loud music during afternoons when the neighbors are resting at home. I make it a point to practice or conduct classes in the evenings. Because that’s the time most of my neighbours are out for walking or for some work. They cooperate with me and encourage me to pursue my dancing. So I too make it a point not to disturb their privacy.”
- Shruti Bhonsale, Bharatnatyam Dancer and Teacher
Regular practice of any kind of artform is crucial to artists. If a dancer misses more than one practice session, they can lose out on flexibility, posture, alignment etc. If you are facing this issue or know any dancing dealing with the same, do share this blog and let us know if the above suggestions worked!