Stephanie is the Rotorua Daily Post's education and lifestyle reporter.

Viral poi video showcases Rotorua (+video)

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When you mix Rotorua's unique Maori culture with an international pop song you get a viral video with a quarter million views and a challenge to other cities.

A video showing girls from Tareikura, a Maori Arts Grooming Academy, dancing with poi to the popular pop song Can't Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake has gone off on social media, being viewed 255,000 times since it was posted on Friday.

The girls are seen busting a move at a number of key Rotorua spots including the museum, Skyline and Te Puia. It was a collaborative project with Destination Rotorua to get people to come to the city during summer.

The video has been liked 1800 times on the Tareikura Facebook page and shared by more than 800 people.

A screen grab of the viral video featuring Maori Arts Grooming Academy Tareikura.
A screen grab of the viral video featuring Maori Arts Grooming Academy Tareikura.

Tareikura director Tinamaree Kaipara-Winitana said they had hoped the video would go viral.

"There is always that hope, after going viral last year with our 'Poiyonce' video we hoped we would go viral again.

"For the girls though, going viral wasn't even in their mindset, they were completely focused on applying themselves 100 per cent and doing the job they were set to do."

Ms Kaipara-Winitana said this project was different as they were promoting a location.

"It took us six weeks to do because we had to wait for the perfect blue skies but after seeing the end result and seeing how we were able to capture the magic of Rotorua, it was definitely worth the wait."

When asked why she thought the video went viral, Ms Kaipara-Winitana said it was finding the perfect balance between the "right music, right image and right movement".

"If it makes you feel good, makes you feel happy then I think you're on to a winner."

Destination Rotorua consumer marketing manager Tom Worsp said the organisation was thrilled with the traction the video got.

"Social media is funny like that, you never know what's going to go viral but it's very satisfying to see these things take off."

Mr Worsp said the video was unique to Rotorua and showcased something locals held dear - our Maori culture.

"It was a fun little way of promoting Rotorua for the summer and it didn't cost a thing to make because it was a team effort. It reinforces how cost effective social media is for advertising our city."

He said, along with the video, a challenge was issued to Bay of Plenty, Auckland and Dunedin centres to see what region-centric video they could come up with.

"It's all in good spirit and has gone above and beyond what we expected it to."

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