ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Natasha Walker is changing lives in her St. Pete community. Walker — who is coordinating the health component of Saturday's Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival — said her work means the world to her.

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“I love it," she said. "I love it."

Walker was seen on a recent sunny morning at Lake Vista Recreation Center in South St. Pete, heading up a line dancing class.

“This class is 55 and up, and we have a 98-year-old,” Walker said.

She said line dancing encompasses work on the body's core muscles, balance and memory. It's also "just plain old fun,” Walker said.

Walker is a certified trainer, nutrition and weight management coach. She works at the YMCA and has been on a fitness journey for 17 years. 

“A lot of people think it’s just about the collard greens and it’s not,” said Walker of Saturday's event. “Collard greens — that’s the draw to get people to come out there.”

Walker said the festival's goals match her mission to help people, mind, body and spirit.

“I love getting people healthy and fit,” she said.

Healthy like getting off blood pressure medicine healthy, and fit like working toward a better life.

“I don’t want any of my clients to have high cholesterol, diabetes, which runs in the African American community,” Walker said.

She said the festival is all about the little life changes that — when done consistently — can make big life changes.

“It’s really about still being able to enjoy the foods that we like as African Americans, but pulling back some of the fat — pulling back some of the salt,” Walker said. “All of that means a lot to me, being that I used to be extremely large with a lot of pain in my body — my knees, everything — and depression.”

Now she uses her journey to health as an example for others.

“It’s like social time for them, you know? They look forward to being here,” said Walker. “So this is important to them — a lot of them have gotten to know each other from class, you know? So it makes a difference.”

The Tampa Bay Collard Green Festival will take place on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Woodson African American Museum of Florida in St. Pete.