A force all her own, Zoraya Judd is an astounding mix of strength and grace on the pole.
How did you get started pole dancing?
My husband had me on every specific workout program that consisted of resistance training and very little to no cardiovascular after the birth of our second son. It was a lot of balance work, functional training, and rehabilitation due to the pregnancy. A regular at the gym saw what I was doing and thought I would be interested in going with him to a new class that had recently opened. Without even knowing what the class was, I agreed to go. He was a little shocked cause it was a 45 minute drive, but I was still so willing to go. When I got to the pole studio, I was so excited. The class was all men except for the instructor. I was wrecked afterwards. But I loved it. So beautiful and challenging. It was perfect for me.
You compete at the most elite levels. How do you prepare for that?
Thanks to my husband teaching me, I have learned what my body responds to. I like to drop weight, listen to nothing but the song I’m performing to, and do a shitload of cardio.
What do you like the best about competing?
The reaction of the crowd. That is what it’s all about for me. The audience. If they are screaming, then I have done my job.
You are now involved in a competition in Tokyo with a special vote for the favorite. Tell us about that!
The International Pole Championships is an international competition for men and women. I was accepted as a competitor and put into the semi-final round. To get into the finals, I need to excel in the voting poll taking place now. Go vote! (NOTE: Voting begins September 17.) The winner of the poll will be crowned the favorite and win a trip to Tokyo for the competition. I’ve never been to Tokyo and it would nice to bring my hubby without paying for him.
What is your favorite part of performing?
Dressing up and getting into character. I also love the feedback and support.
What is the first thing you teach students just starting to learn to pole?
That there is no wrong when doing pole. If you can’t do the same move as the person next to you. Tweak it and make it your own! It’s all beautiful when you control each move and point your toes.
How do you take care of yourself, given all the pole dancing you do?
I workout five days a week for two hours at the gym. Play on the pole about five hours a week of self time. Play hard with the kids and eat fairly healthy.
Favorite makeup tip:
MAC blot powder before applying make up.
Barefoot, sneakers, or platform heels?
Favorite grip enhancer:
Pole dance move that made you proudest to learn:
Pole dance pet peeves:
Mean people that tear others down.
Favorite treatment for bruises and sore muscles:
Massages from my hubby.
Who would you most like to have in the audience when you pole dance?
Who is your hero or role model?
My mother, father, and Nic.
What are your favorite words of encouragement?
Favorite pizza toppings:
I’d prefer sushi.
Cupcakes or ice cream?
Neither. I LOVE fresh strawberries, vanilla yogurt, and granola. I eat two Costco-size strawberry crates a week. Yum!
What do you like to do when you’re not pole dancing?
Spending time with my family.
Anything else you’d like to share:
I was recently asked, and welcomed, into an amazing production company called Zen Arts. I am honored to call them my new family.
Be sure to vote for Zoraya!