- A Florida high school’s staircase has become a meme on TikTok.
- Videos filmed by students at Venice High School in Sarasota have gone viral on the app.
- Here’s how one high school’s staircase became a TikTok celebrity.
A Florida high school’s staircase has become a meme after it served as the background of multiple viral videos on TikTok.
Students at Venice High School (VHS) in Sarasota, Florida have been posting TikTok videos from a staircase landing in the school building for months, but the sunny filming spot gained new life on the app over the last week.
Now, the high school is known nationwide, and the staircase videos have spawned parodies from other TikTok users.
The videos have become famous enough on a certain corner of TikTok that some people, including those who appear to be students, are referring to VHS as “tiktok high.”
On TikTok, the hashtag #venicehighschool has 5.8 million views, while the hashtag #venicestairs has 2.2 million views. The search term “venice high school stairs” is associated with 8.6 million views.
Many of the videos that have gone viral over the past week — and many of the subsequent parodies from non-VHS students — feature a dance to “Booty” by T-Pain that was choreographed by 19-year-old Jaelyn Rux (@jae.moves).
Other TikTok users, who don’t appear to be students at VHS, have posted videos using TikTok’s “green screen” effect, which allows users to superimpose their own image onto a photo background, to make it appear as if they’re filming from the iconic staircase. Many of these parody videos feature Rux’s dance as well.
“Pov you’re making a tiktok in the most famous High school on tiktok,” TikTok user @smoothdewser wrote in an on-screen caption for a parody video.
“I appreciate all the love on it,” Rux, the dance creator, told Insider. She said that while she wished more of the viral videos would have credited her for the dance, she thought it was “really cool to see them vibe and have fun with the trend.”
Some students who have gone viral with staircase videos in November have been posting for months. TikTok user @dey.platt, who posted one of the most viral videos from the stairs with 3.4 million views, has been performing TikTok dances from the same location since April. Another creator, @bnr.jay, has been posting from the location since January.
Comments on many of the viral videos indicate an explosion of videos filmed at the location have appeared on users’ For You Pages over the last week.
“Tired of seeing these damn stairs man,” a comment on one of @bnr.jay’s videos reads.
While it’s not clear why VHS videos are showing up on For You Pages nationwide en masse, there is precedent for local events or trends blowing up on TikTok. In August, the University of Alabama’s formal sorority recruitment process — better known as “Bama Rush” — went viral on TikTok, drawing wide audiences and inspiring parodies of the “outfit of the day” videos that many prospective sorority members posted throughout the process.
Other local happenings, like New York University (NYU) students posting about lackluster quarantine meals, have also surprisingly drawn massive audiences on the app.
Sarasota County Schools, the district in which Venice High School is located, was not available to comment on the videos.