Months after creating a viral dance set to Taylor Swift’s “Bejeweled,” a popular TikToker saw the viral dance performed live. But it took some effort, and public attention, to make it happen.
Back in October, Mikael Arellano—anticipating the release of Swift’s music video for “Bejeweled”—put out several TikToks showing a new dance around the song’s chorus that involves strutting and hand movements set as he lip-syncs the word “shimmer.”
@mikaelarellano ♬ Bejeweled – Taylor Swift
Several of those videos went viral: One video received more than 6.4 million views, another received 4 million views, and a third got over 1 million views. In the weeks after his dance broke out, more people on TikTok did their own spin on his dance. At one point, Swift even liked one of Arellano’s videos, the ultimate sign of approval.
If you noticed something familiar about some of the dancing during the Eras tour, there’s a reason for that: Swift’s people asked Arellano if they could use it and offered compensation. But in the caption of a video he posted last week, he had yet to be compensated for it.
“Back in February, Taylor Nation asked me if I’m OK with Taylor and her dancers using parts of my ‘Bejeweled’ dance, and in exchange, they offered me two free tickets for a show of my choice, which is tomorrow night,” he explained. “But ever since then, they never got back to me to give me the tickets, so I really don’t know what to do.”
@mikaelarellano I have to SPEAK NOW (Mikael's Version) cause maybe we got lost in translation! #swifttok #theerastour #taylornation ♬ original sound – Mikael Arellano
Arellano’s caption plays off Swift’s song and album titles, noting, “I have to SPEAK NOW (Mikael’s Version) cause maybe we got lost in translation!”
SwiftTok was outraged on Arellano’s behalf as they flagged Taylor Nation and Swift’s accounts to rectify that wrong.
“Give him front row tickets! He made Bejeweled iconic!” one person wrote.
But some people also thought Arellano should’ve gotten far more from Swift for using his dance in her concerts than two free tickets.
Fortunately for Arellano, speaking out about the issue worked in his favor. He got in contact with Taylor Nation and was able to get tickets for the concert he originally requested tickets to see; he says it was because of miscommunication.
He saw Swift perform live at one of her Philadelphia shows and performed his dance as she sang “Bejeweled.” But he also received a coveted piece of concert memorabilia: “22,” Swift gives out a signed hat with the number 22 written on it to a lucky fan in the crowd. On the night Arellano went to see Swift live, he was that fan.
@mikaelarellano best night of my life ❤️❤️ #taylorswift #swiftie #swifttok #tstheerastour #phillytstheerastour ♬ original sound – Mikael Arellano
“Best night of my life,” he wrote.