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Ask Flipped: How Do I Get My Upstairs Neighbor to Stop Hosting High-Stakes Dance Competitions?

Welcome back to Ask Flipped, where we answer very real questions from readers who are having problems with home decor, design, or anything else. Do you have a question? Write it on a post-it note and throw it into a strong gust of wind. If it was meant to be, we will find the post-it and answer the question.

Dear Flipped,

The guy who lives in the apartment above me—we'll call him M—is constantly inviting dance crews into his home so that they can have intense battles. Each battle consists of three rounds, followed by a voting period where they audience shouts for the crew they liked best and M measures the shouting on a noise meter. Then the winning crew is awarded a massive cash prize, at which point they argue for hours about how to split it up. (The choreographer always wants an extra cut.) This happens about three times a week. Can I confront my neighbor and ask him to move the dance-offs to a more appropriate venue, such as an abandoned warehouse or a boxing gym at night? I don't want to make it seem like I don't support the arts.

Thanks,
Noise-Averse Neighbor

Dear NN,

Take a deep breath. Part of the deal when it comes to living in an apartment building is that you're going to have neighbors, and sometimes they're going to hold high-stakes dance-offs. Sure, you could call 311 and report your neighbor for excessive noise, but you'd better believe that he's going to remember about that the next time you ask him to sign for a package or stop by to borrow a cup of sugar.

Also, imagine how you would feel if your neighbor reported you for doing whatever it is that you do to unwind—listening to music or running an illegal dogfighting ring or what have you. Those who lives in glass houses, as the saying goes, should not be overly concerned about what our neighbor is doing in his glass house, since we both pay our own rents to the landlord who owns all the glass buildings and probably also doesn't have time to deal with this crap. The point is, we all have to learn to how to live side by side, and accept that dance competitions occasionally happen.

If you're really determined to Do Something about this perceived problem—which is not the route I recommend, but still—you could put together your own dance crew, march right up to your neighbor's door, and challenge him and his friends to a battle with the highest stakes of all: the right to host dance-offs in his apartment. You'll probably lose, though, since I'd imagine that he is great at dancing and you don't sound very fun at all.

Support the arts!
Flipped