Born in the former Yugoslavia, Zlaya’s interest in physical fitness began at an early age as he pursued volleyball. With support from family members, Zlaya continued his interest in physical fitness throughout his youth and received the degree of Professor of Physical Education from the University of Novi Sad.
Zlaya continued his career in his home country, teaching seminars at local universities, and training for the International Games.
Taking a break from training, Zlaya turned to dance, resulting in a 16-year career as a professional dancer. Traveling throughout Europe and north America, Zlaya received an opportunity to teach dance and physical fitness in the United States. Accepting the challenge, he moved to the United States in 1992. After several years of teaching, Zlaya decided to pursue personal training and began his individualized training programs.