Donna Richardson - Donna-Mite Workout
This is a
wonderful "wake-up" video - the kind you like
to do early in the morning to get revved up for the day.
Approximately 50 minutes long, this aerobic workout is
easy to learn, but alot of fun to do. And the music is
the BEST of any of my many videos - all Motown oldies,
from the warmup ("Heard It Through The
Grapevine") all the way through. Donna's cuing is
excellent, and she clearly demonstrates more intense
moves you can do to make the workout harder.
I loved Donna Richardson's "Donna-Mite" tape.
Easy to follow with a great soundtrack. It's also a good
workout, and a lot of fun. The moves are intersting
enough that you won't get bored with them. One of Donna's
Fitness level: intermediate
Breakdown: 5 minutes warm-up; 35 minutes floor aerobics;
5 minutes cool-down; 5 minutes stretch
Impact: mixed, but one exerciser demonstrates low-impact
Soundtrack: Motown hits from 60's and 70's
Donna promises "serious fun"
in her intro, then she sucks you in and you're hooked
from the first "Temptation walk" to the final
step-tap and lunge. I have to make myself do other tapes,
this one is such a blast it's all I want to do these
This is definitely a serious workout--last night I had
to stop right before the cool down and I had to take a
minute to catch my breath--but Donna packages it as a
"big old fat-burning party." And what a party
it is! The timeless sounds of the Temptations and the
Four Tops, the high-energy group accompanying Donna, and
especially the cool-down routine all remind me of the
all-girl all-nighters and college dances I enjoyed in my
junior high and late teen days.
Donna enjoys herself throughout the routine. Her love
of the music is obvious and she cuts up with the crew
throughout. But none of it distracts her from her
instruction. She's very conscientious about cuing for the
changes, giving pointers for proper alignment, and
encouraging you to keep moving even if it means doing
low-impact or reducing your range of motion.
While her focus is on fun as well as fitness, and this
video comes across as a bunch of friends getting together
and dancing, the workout itself is not all that dancy or
complicated. One of Donna's trademarks is adding her own
flair to basic stretches and aerobic moves. So you get,
among other things, sideways shoulder dips during
grapevines, and little pelvic tilts during the quad
stretches. (I'll leave the rest for other reviewers to
discover. . .)
The cool-down is all dancing, but trust me, none of it
is hard. Most of the steps, such as the pony, the
popcorn, and the washing machine, I remember from eighth
grade. In fact, I get so caught up in having fun here
that instead of cooling down, this turns into five more
minutes of aerobics! The stretch includes more of Donna's
attitude moves built into the routine, and she advises
the exerciser to balance this tape with muscle toning and
stretching. (In fact, I'm thinking of getting her 4 Day
Rotation to see if she can work her magic and make me
love floor exercise!)
Of course, Donna's the star here. But her troupe of
exercisers--some of them her pals from Crunch Fitness-
deserve a hand for their enthusiasm. They're all in great
shape, but encouragingly, they're not all hardbodies or
youngsters. The lady who does the low-impact version here
is built a lot like me--petite and a little bit busty.
Another exerciser is taller and a very shapely size 12 at
least. These are real people, all right!
This one's for anyone who needs any or all of the
following: 30 or more minutes of cardio work that won't
blow out your joints, fun but not complex routines, an
instructor who's cheerful but doesn't get on your nerves,
and a workout that doesn't feel like a workout.
"Donna-Mite" sells for about $15 from Collage,
and it's often available for less in stores like Media
Play or the larger discount stores. I don't think I've
ever bought this much fun for so little money. Enjoy,
Grade: A+ and 10 points extra credit
This tape is great. It's a high/low workout with
fantastic music such as I Heard It Through The Grapevine
and This Old Heart Of Mine. It does not get boring at
all, because Donna changes the routine with each song.
The length is about 50-55 minutes.
The intensity is at
the intermediate level. Beginners can do this by
modifying some of the high-impact steps to low. Advanced
can do it just for a change of pace and to have a good
I really enjoy this workout and would recommend it to
Mostly lower impact, with easy modifications. The music
is great - Motown favorites. The tape starts out
deceptively easy, and before you know it, you are
sweating up a storm, and smiling through it all. Safety
pointers throughout, but there are no moves that would
trip up even the most tired exerciser, even on carpet.
The choreography is fun and easy to pick up. I am pretty
coordinated, and I doubt that I will get bored with this
tape anytime soon. The exercisers in this tape are all in
great shape, but they come in attainable sizes. They all
seem to celebrate their fitness, and the joy they have is
contagious. This is a very upbeat tape, and I highly
I love this video because it is more like dancing then
exercising. The time goes by fast. The video is 52
minutes long. The music is great, old motown sounds. I
work up a good sweat. I look forward to doing this video
when I have the time. I like Donna's energy level and her
style. She is very motivating.
A solid intermediate workout, this video builds you up
without leaving you
feeling wiped out afterwards. The steps are easy to learn
without being boring and repetitive.
I especially like all the circle turns and the sliding in
this tape. It really picks me up on days when I'm feeling
really tired and am not up to Kari Anderson or the Firm's
The music is oldies (a favorite of mine). Lastly, every
body type is identified in this video! To be perfectly
honest, I was very surprised when this video showed up in
the Exchange. I'd never trade this one.
Although I really like Donna, and I love the old
Motown music, I'm not sure how much I actually like the
workout. I've taken the workout and tried to learn it
section by section. For example, once I learned the
warm-up and the first section completely, I tried adding
the next section, and so on.
Anyways, I still trip over myself freqently, and spend
much of the workout doing the wrong thing at the wrong
time. Even though I feel like a complete idiot when I do
this video, I still have fun doing it. I have noticed,
however, that even during the sections I have mastered,
my heart rate doesn't really elevate to an optimal target
zone. I would choose this video for a light day.
Many others have said this video is easy to learn,
well... maybe if you enjoy dancing and are naturally
coordinated. If you have two left feet (like me) and are
looking for challenging cardio, DonnaMite might not be
the best pick. Don't get me wrong, I do like this video,
it's fun, but it isn't my ideal workout.
This is going to sound very odd, because it's a
positive review and yet after two workouts I gave it away
in the Video Exchange. I thought this tape would be great
for someone that hasn't exercised in a while and was
thinking of maybe trying a video. It is very fun and
likeable, and I kept wishing I could actually take a live
class with this bunch! The Motown music is fun, although
I wonder if I would tired of it after a while. I kind of
like more "nameless" stuff in my videos.
The main reason I gave this away is because I felt it
just wasn't intense enough for me and didn't picture
doing it very often. Although, there is something odd
about the cueing. Somehow this video is not as easy to
follow as it should be. I got Sweat Express around the
same time, and SE was really no more difficult to learn,
although I would consider it a more advanced tape.
Donna and the whole cast is definitely what makes
this tape great.
Having read all the positive reviews about this video, I'm afraid I must be the dissenter. It's not that I didn't like the workout or Donna's excellent teaching style; she really shines in this tape! What completely got on my nerves was the noisy background exercisers and the "party" type atmosphere. I would have felt like a total moron had I actually gotten off the couch to do this workout! While I don't mind a couple of "attitude" moves interspersed here and there, I absolutely DO NOT shimmy my shoulders or shake my hips, which is prevalent throughout the workout. And when the camera zooms in several of the cast members who appear to be in aerobic heaven, I want to kick in the tv screen!
Don't get me wrong; this is a great video if you need a lot of whooping, hollering and friendly bantering to motivate you to exercise. The choreography is easy enough to follow, and Donna repeats each routine "from the top" a number of times to reinforce the steps and make catching up a breeze. She has an infectious, caring nature and easygoing approach - qualities sure to lure in even the most reluctant beginner. But for me, an advanced exerciser who's used to the no-nonsense type of workouts provided by instructors like Cathe Friedrich and Kari Anderson, Donna-Mite was like taking a step backward. I will be placing this tape on the exchange if anyone is interested.
Donna's energy and enthusiasm is contagious, and she provides very thorough instruction and form pointers throughout the workout. She is also in terrific shape!
I really like this video alot-but I'm confused about some of the other reviewers saying it's "easy" to learn. When I first dtarted I would be in tears during a few parts, and I would rewind it over and over until I got it (One day this 50 minute tape was almost 2 hours long for me!) I just wanted to make sure that people know it's not super easy for everyone, but it doesn't take to long to master (I think I 've finally got it, and I've done it about 9 times, not includng the marathon rewind!) --I don't think I'll ever give up this tape--it's so much fun, although maybe too much fun: I feel almost as if I cheated my workout, so I only use it on light days or as an extra workout when I'm bored, stressed out, or can't sleep (It always makes me feel better!!)Grade: A
Instructor comments: I just love Donna Richardson!!She is so, well, the only word I can think of is COOL. I would love to just hang out with her -- we'd have so much fun ("girlfriend!")
13 December 1997
This is more of a party than a workout!!! The music is the best of all my tapes and it is fun fun fun!!!!
I did this tape today for the first time in about six months and realized all over again how much I enjoy it. It is 55 minutes of moderate intensity floor aerobics designed to get you working out without realizing it.
There are already several really good breakdowns of the choreography but I want to add that while this tape make take a while for those of us who are "coordinationally challenged" to learn, it is well worth the time and effort. It is just so much fun. Donna does do marches which allow you to get back to the routine if you miss your place and low impact modifications are always shown.
She is also supported by a cast (including Jennifer Mills) who seem to be having a blast. One thing I really like about the tape is that there are people of all shapes and sizes doing the workout and one lady (Jillian) demonstrates low impact moves throughout the workout. The Motown music is terrific as well.
I don't know if you can tell, but I love this workout--it makes me want to learn more floor aerobic routines (which are difficult for me for some reason). Everyone should try this tape at least once or twice--its greaaaaaat!
Instructor comments: Donna is one of my favorite instructors--she seems so fun and caring, I really like her as a person.
I may be the exception to all the great reviews this video got but I hated it. I wanted to really like it because I wanted to add something a little different to my rotation and with everyone saying how much fun it was, I bought it. First, I watched it & disliked it immediately. But then I figured I'd give it a shot because sometimes *doing* is better than watching. The first time I did it, I shut it off about a 1/4 into it. It just didn't get my heart rate up at all and I hated the moves. I also disliked all the *attitude* because it was so forced and phony. I tried really hard to like this tape. I tried it again and made it 3/4 of the way through, didn't even break a sweat.
Maybe not for the inter/advan. exerciser.
Donna, the routine, & the music are worth the video, but I don't know about the wall to wall noise...
The routine & the music are perfect together. And those 60's dances, like the Washing Machine, which is in the bringing down the heartrate section, are pure fun!
But it's like listening to a flock of honking Canadian geese! Yuck! The noise does tone down by the end of the tape (but not completely), & mercifully, during the cooldown, it's as quiet as a library. But you do want to hurl something - other than expletives - at the TV, hoping to do in the other exercisers. Geez, I know I'm being esp. violent abt. this, but I prefer friendly banter in a video, a la the Best of Step Reebok tape with Gin Miller.
The only other complaint (a mild irritation) is with the concentration camp blonde in the halter & shorts. I know there are different body types out there, but good grief! Are we supposed to look up to her for being so diligent at doing a workout in her emaciated condition? Egad! She needs an IV more than a workout.
It's too bad abt. the honking & the blonde, but I still think this is a good workout IF you can tune out the honking part (the blonde is just something that irritates & upsets me). I've done this a few times & have sweated each time.
Instructor comments: Donna is a very good instructor, very upbeat without being perky like Denise A.
I purchased this video based on the recommendations that appeared on Video Fitness. My review is mixed. First, while many reviewers commented positively on the "Motown" music-track, I should point out that these are remixes, and not the songs performed by the original motown artists. This may sound like a trivial complaint, but when you love Motown, hearing a copy is like listening to Liberace play jazz.
Second, you need a lot of floor space and problably a wood, tile, or concrete floor to do the "dancy" steps here. A small carpeted den or bedroom might not do it.
Third, while Donna cues well, and gives advanced warnings of moves, the director/cameraperson saw fit to often show head and/or torso shots at the point when choreography is changing; hence you have no idea what to do with your feet.
Finally, I find some of the steps too difficult to pick up. I will try though, as I would like to make this tape part of my regular workout routine.
Instructor comments: Donna is enthusiastic, energetic, and incredibly fit. Her smile and energy level both inspire you to keep up with her.
I bought the video thinking I could burn fat and have fun, but you should first learn the choreography.
Donna is the only one who enjoys the routine because she knew it.
I like this video and agree with many of the reviews on this site. I do want to say that it is not as easy to learn as some say. One reason for this is not that the moves are difficult (thier not) its just that their seems to be many of them in each section and just when you almost have it, the camera cuts to the waist or moves around the room and you stumble. I agree that if you are not prone to dancing you may have to learn this tape one section at a time. I do think that once you have gotten to the point that you have memorized it, that it will be great fun to do on a fairly regular basis. I think the camera work is this vidoes biggest problem and once you learn it, that wont matter any more and you can enjoy!
Instructor comments: Great peronality with lots of entusiasm. I found her motivating.
This video keeps your heart pumping. It's packed with great moves and fun from teh beginning to the end. If you like to dance this will be one of the best times you can have by yourself or with a partner. It's not complicated and is very easy to follow. By the time you've done this tape a few times you'll want to get with your friend Donna everyday.
Instructor comments: Donna Richardson is great. She has about 50 minutes of fun. If you like to dance she's great. If you're like me I like to make exercise fun, and not like a job. She's all smiles from beginning to end. I love videos, I recently lost 150 lbs. and Donna-Mite was one of my favorites.
I brought this video because of all the great reviews I've read from here, and I really wish I hadn't been that stupid.
It is not easy to learn. I have been working on it for hours at a time. And only after 2 weeks, I'm feeling that I could actually do it all the way through now, with some mistakes and fustrations. This isn't one of those video's you put in and just do right away. It takes great time to learn. It's not that most of the steps are all that difficult, but it is how they are put together and follow each other. That's what my problem is with this tape. The music is okay, and I didn't hear all that much hooting and hollaring, but some of the people in the video really get on my nerves,the way they have a close up of their face and they are trying to sing along and dont know any of the words, but they just don't care, cause they are having *such a blast* kinda look. I will keep doing it, until I can get it down, and decide either to like it or hate it. It might be fun if I could do it the whole way through.
Instructor comments: She does alright with the cueing, but prefer a little more advance notice when actually putting the moves into action. She only mentions the alinement a few times almost near the late middle and end, and she has no heartrate section. She seemed to be having a good time, not really instructing.
This video always struck me as a
"sweatin to the Oldies" for people who
had outgrown "Sweatin to the Oldies".
The music is really great - it is all
Moton classics and you just want to
sing along for the entire workout. It
feels fast-paced to me and is definitely
an intermediate level cardio workout.
Donna is a fun and inspiring instructor,
she cues well and really keeps you
going through the whole thing. I like
her quirky little additions to the moves
(where she is grooving extra hard to the
music). I am not a big fan of all of the
"take it from the top" stuff. In my
opinion, that tends to make a routine
really boring in the long run.
In the end, I found it too hard to follow (I have big problems with any sort of
choreography - give me anything that
takes up less than 4 square feet on the
floor and I am happy). This is a really
great workout - just a bit too
discouraging for me. I hope the peron
who traded me for it is really enjoying
February 28, 2004
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