It's Me, Hi, I'm the Shimmer, It's Me

Best Believe This Swiftie Is TikTok's "Bejeweled" Icon

"I love when I see comments that say, 'Your videos make me so happy.'"

by Collette Reitz
Lindsay Hattrick/Elite Daily; @mikaelarellano/TikTok; Gotham/WireImage

Imagine being the reason tens of thousands of fans will simultaneously make their hands “shimmer” for one miraculous second at a Taylor Swift concert. For Mikael Arellano, that’s about to be his reality after creating one of the most popular TikTok trends to come out of Swift’s new Midnights era.

On Oct. 22, Arellano posted a 12-second video, dancing to Swift’s new song “Bejeweled.” What could’ve been any other TikTok dance turned into something special: As Swift sang the line, "I miss sparklin’," Arellano threw his hands up and tilted his head back. He strutted toward the camera as the chorus began, spun a full 360 degrees at, “I can still make the whole place—,” and landed right on cue with fluttering fingers as Swift sang the final word, “shimmer.”

Arellano’s moves are uncomplicated but perfectly match the lyrics, which may explain why Swifties have made it the unofficial “Bejeweled” dance on TikTok. Popular online celebrities like Maisie Peters and Madeleine White even hopped on his dance trend.

This joyful moment is all the more special considering Arellano, a 21-year-old communications major, didn’t share his strut and shimmer for TikTok fame. In fact, he can’t even pinpoint how many followers he’s gained since posting the original “Bejeweled” dance. As of Nov. 9, Arellano’s video has 3.6 million views.

“The videos are pretty much to express myself,” Arellano, who’s been dancing since he was 10, tells Elite Daily. Dancing is just what he does when he hears a song he likes, and he really likes “Bejeweled.”

His love for Swift, though, goes back to her 2008 Fearless album. “I started to become a fan when I first heard ‘Love Story’ and ‘You Belong With Me,’” Arellano says. Today, his TikTok bio reads, “21 y/o Swiftie,” and his comments are filled with laudatory messages from “Bejeweled” dance stans.

There’s no doubt you’ll see the TikToker’s simple yet somehow perfectly choreographed “Bejeweled” dance moves in the crowd at every single stop on Swift’s Eras Tour, which kicks off in the spring. Arellano already has a sense of what this will feel like as Swifties are busting out the “Bejeweled” dance in the club, as seen on TikTok. “When they played a Taylor Swift song — everyone was doing my dance,” he tells me with a delighted smile.

Below, Arellano lives up to his self-appointed Swiftie characterization as he excitedly talks about the inspiration behind his viral Midnights dances and all things Swift.

Elite Daily: SwiftTok was quick to post videos as soon as Midnights dropped, and your "Bejeweled" dance became a favorite. What's life been like since your video went viral on TikTok?

Mikael Arellano: When I look in the mirror, I still see myself as an ordinary person. But whenever I go out — whether I'm at the mall or at my part-time job — people will come up to me and be like, “Oh my God. Are you that guy from TikTok who does the ‘Bejeweled’ dance?”

ED: You also got the ultimate approval with a “like” from Swift herself. What was your immediate reaction when you got that notification?

MA: Oh my God. I was like, “Is this for real?” It's like she finally knows I exist.

ED: You said Swift hasn’t reached out, but what would you say if you got the chance to talk with her?

MA: I don't know. I guess I would be really shocked. I would be speechless.

ED: There have been so many takes on what TikTok has dubbed the “Bejeweled” strut. What's one of the most exciting TikToks you've seen stitch your video?

MA: I think the most exciting one was Colleen Ballinger’s internet character Miranda Sings, when she did the dance and then projected my video onto the screen during a live show.

ED: It must have been hard to decide where to start once the album dropped. How did you land on “Bejeweled” as one of the first songs to dance to?

MA: “Bejeweled” immediately became one of my favorite songs. As soon as it started, I was like, I know I'm gonna love this.

ED: Take me through the process of the “Bejeweled” dance. You heard the song. How long after that did you decide you wanted to do a dance video to it?

MA: Probably a day after the album came out.

ED: So you sat with all the songs, and then you chose “Bejeweled.” Did you immediately think of the moves that we're seeing? Or, did you try some other stuff?

MA: Actually, that dance was the first thing I thought of when I heard the chorus of “Bejeweled,” just strutting and then spinning. And then, whenever I hear the word “shimmer,” I just think of this.

Arellano makes the now iconic hand gesture wiggling his fingers in front of him, like quarter-turned jazz hands.

ED: What about your other Midnights dances, like “Maroon” and “Karma”? Did you plan to do multiple videos?

MA: After “Bejeweled,” I was like, I think I should do more dances. I should make my own dances now that I know I can actually do it. “Bejeweled” just gives you that kind of confidence.

ED: What is it about being a Swiftie and interacting with other Taylor Swift fans that you like being a part of?

MA: It just feels good. I feel like as a community in the Taylor Swift fandom everyone is so nice, and it's like everyone always sticks together.

ED: I can't let you go without asking what you think the next big Swift announcement might be — an album drop? What are you thinking?

MA: There were so many Easter eggs for Speak Now in the “Bejeweled” music video, especially since she gave away the order with the colors and probably the elevator. I am so ready for re-records of “Enchanted,” “Long Live,” “Sparks Fly,” “Back to December,” and all of them.

Rob Verhorst/Redferns/Getty Images

ED: Now that we're all preparing for The Eras Tour, are you planning to dance to “Bejeweled” live?

MA: Oh my God, yes!

ED: With all of BejeweledTok behind you, what's next for you on TikTok and beyond with this newfound social media popularity?

MA: I just wanna spread positivity to my fans. I love when I see comments that say, “Your videos make me so happy,” or “I'm having [a] really bad day today. I'm so happy that you came up on my FYP.”

ED: Is there anything else you want to share with your TikTok fans?

MA: Keep shimmering!

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.