Anchored by two-time Academy nominated leading lady, Gena Rowlands, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks takes place in a Florida retirement community. Lily (Rowlands) is the lonely widow of a Baptist minister. With money to spare and free time to fill, she elects to take some dance classes, which is where she meets dance instructor Michael (played by Cheyenne Jackson). Gay, flamboyant, and possessing a foul mouth, Michael is Lily’s polar opposite. So much so, in fact, that Lily decides to end the lessons with Michael, feeling she could never see eye to eye with someone she finds repulsive. However, upon visiting the dance school to make a formal complaint about him, Lily crosses paths with Michael again and decides to give him another shot.
As this unlikely duo learn to dance together, they also learn a lesson much more valuable than the common box step. Each learns to tear down barriers and begin to see each other, and themselves, for who they really are. Though guarded at first, Lily begins to open up her heart, whereas Michael drops much of the brash attitude and gains greater perspective. The two become an emotional support for one another, as each must face significant challenge in their own respective lives.
Expertly handled by Gena Rowlands, the role of Lily is the crown jewel of the film. Ms. Rowlands delights audiences with a heartfelt and believable performance, a delicate reminder of a long and lustrous career that precedes this film. Though pithy at times, Cheyenne Jackson still manages to earn his place sharing the screen with a Hollywood legend. Delivering a mix of charisma, charm, and comedic relief, Jackson chips away at Rowlands’ protected demeanor.
“Charisma and enormous charm adds up to a big chunk of entertainment value.”
— Rex Reed, Observer
“The film shows that life-changing friendships can happen at any age and that pride and intolerance don’t stand a chance in the face of genuine compassion and respect.”
— Philip David Morton, The Huffington Post
“If you’re looking for a film with heartwarming charm and gentle humor, look no further.”
— Old Ain’t Dead
Did You Know?
Adapted from a play by Richard Alfieri, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks revolves closely around these two characters, with brief occasional support from talented actors such as Julian Sands, Rita Moreno, and Jacki Weaver. However, it is Director of Photography Vilmos Zsigmond, famous for his masterful work on Close Encounters of the Third Kind and The Deer Hunter, who conjures the most magic. Having limited budget and few environments to work with, Zsigmond artfully crafts each scene around human interaction, creating a level of audience-to-actor intimacy that is typically reserved for the stage. Review our Gay Themed Films Here