'They told me I would never be able to walk, but here I am dancing again'

Fitness enthusiast and sportswear designer Christa Calitz has shared the story of how she reclaimed her life and fighting spirit after an accident that turned everything upside down.

Calitz is the founder of Fifth Element Activewear and has overcome many obstacles to get where she is today.

She started ballet at the age of five and her budding career as a classical dancer was interrupted when she was involved in an accident at 17.

Calitz fell out of a moving school bus when she was a teen and battled for many years to regain her life.

My plans for my future were all set. The only thing I wanted to do was dance.

Christa Calitz, founder of Fifth Element Activewear

Unfortunately there was a fault with the door. I fell out while the bus was moving. It basically dragged me under, grazing my whole lower left leg to the point that they wanted to amputate it right there and then.

Christa Calitz, founder of Fifth Element Activewear

My father asked if I want them to save my leg and I said yes, knowing that it might not be successful.

Christa Calitz, founder of Fifth Element Activewear

She fought against medical advice to amputate her leg and began a long journey to rehabilitation.

Calitz spent two years in and out hospital, undergoing reconstructive surgery on her leg and battling with anxiety and depression.

I was mostly on crutches or in a wheelchair and even a waking stick at some point.

Christa Calitz, founder of Fifth Element Activewear

I literally had learn how to walk again because they told me I would never be able to. But here I am now.

Christa Calitz, founder of Fifth Element Activewear

I survived during that period. It was a process of almost grieving and going through phases of anger and denial.

Christa Calitz, founder of Fifth Element Activewear

I never let go of my dream of dancing again.

Christa Calitz, founder of Fifth Element Activewear

She started fitness training in 2015, nearly 20 years after the accident, and then decided to return to her passion - ballet - in September last year.

She's rekindle her spark for life, started her activewear brand and has been dancing for nine months.

Visit the Fifth Element website and Instagram for more.

Take a listen to her inspiring story:


CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
AA explores why drunk driving remains a major problem in SA

AA explores why drunk driving remains a major problem in SA

SA has one of the highest car-accident fatality rates in the world. The Automobile Association (AA) looks at road fatalities.

Over 20 Cape activities to keep your teens busy these holidays

Over 20 Cape activities to keep your teens busy these holidays

No idea what to do with your teens over these holidays? Here's a few fun activities that are guaranteed to keep them entertained.

Meet Owam Amey, the promising young dancer who needs your help getting to LA

Meet Owam Amey, the promising young dancer who needs your help getting to LA

Talented, 11-year-old Owam Amey has been accepted to attend a summer dance programme in Los Angeles next year. Here's how to help.

MyCiTi adds extra buses on N2 express route amid suspended train service

MyCiTi adds extra buses on N2 express route amid suspended train service

Train services are in disarray once again and Cllr Brett Herron has emphasised the need for the City to takeover the rail network.

Leading lady Emma Kingston talks gracing stage of 'Evita' musical

Leading lady Emma Kingston talks gracing stage of 'Evita' musical

The iconic musical 'Evita' is showing in Cape Town. Lead actress Emma Kingston talks about the role and must-see production.

How Philippa Johnson-Dwyer got back in the saddle despite disability

How Philippa Johnson-Dwyer got back in the saddle despite disability

Para-equestrian dressage rider Philippa Johnson reflects on her rehabilitation and flourishing career, in spite of many obstacles.

Popular articles
Lessons from the spectacular collapse of Steinhoff (e.g. diversity matters)

Lessons from the spectacular collapse of Steinhoff (e.g. diversity matters)

Bruce Whitfield interviews Gordon Institute of Business Science Dean (and marketing expert) Professor Nicola Kleyn.

Number of South Africans visiting the seaside has dropped

Number of South Africans visiting the seaside has dropped

Fedhasa's CEO is encouraging South Africans to take a look at the specials that are currently out there and make their bookings.

Casac to challenge Zuma's appeal of Abrahams High Court order

Casac to challenge Zuma's appeal of Abrahams High Court order

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will appeal a High Court order that its head Shaun Abrahams leave office.

Instead of investigating state capture they are investigating me - Jacques Pauw

Instead of investigating state capture they are investigating me - Jacques Pauw

Journalist and author Jaques Pauw says he doesn't understand why he being investigated and summoned to appear before police.

 Metrorail central line trains suspended due to vandalism

Metrorail central line trains suspended due to vandalism

Metrorail regional manager, Richard Walker says criminals are making it hard for them to operate in the area.

Steinhoff money woes and why you should care

Steinhoff money woes and why you should care

The company lost around R100 billion leaving the JSE reeling in one of the biggest private sector business scandals.

How businessman Max Lichaba struck gold with his jewellery company

How businessman Max Lichaba struck gold with his jewellery company

Entrepreneur Max Lichaba built his own empire and is the CEO of Lichaba Creations and several other businesses. This is his story.