In a night of huge entertainment and high drama that captivated a capacity audience at the 2nd Annual ASEAN Strictly Come Dancing final held in the Grand Hyatt Ballroom, long time US expat Zartin McHary took the coveted championship title with professional partner Aliona Vilani in a stunning display of such virtuosity in their chosen discipline of Salsa that it had the audience on its feet throughout and baying for more at the end – and the massive TV audience across Asia agreed!
Making the achievement even more remarkable is that the couple survived an early round Dance Off against popular local celebrity Dewi Persik partnered with Matthew Cutler when their extraordinary Paso Doble attracted 71% of the more than 3 million votes cast by SMS.
Considered “over tall” for ball room dancing by the experts, Zartin puts down his sense of balance to his long involvement in directional drilling with Weatherford, “when you spend your life trying to keep up to fifteen thousand feet of pipe moving in the right direction then you get a feeling for it and my six feet eight is a cake walk in comparison” adding that “I really have to give a lot of credit to Jaclyn Spencer who really got my feet talking together and was 100% responsible for the Salsa routine that we used in the final”
McHary is a long time fan of dance and, together with wife Jean, holds numerous trophies from around the world in the many countries where he has worked. He shared with us that while his first love is mis-hitting golf balls, he was ever a “Dancer after Dark” and when he wasn’t doing either then he liked nothing better than to hear Jean sing Mississippi Delta Blues to remind him of home and his childhood, especially “any stuff by Mississippi John Hurt“
Last word from Rich Whyme, President of PDI-Tee Set and long time mate of the new champ, “we are all so amazed and pleased at Zartin’s win, he worked so hard and no one deserves it more, if he can just get that grace and power into his golf swing then he is a future low net category winner for sure”, adding that “Zartin and his wife leave Indonesia again this week and have had another farewell, their second this year which is about average, we look forward to welcoming them back from the Philippines next year so that they can have more farewells in 2013”.