Rachel Carrico holds a Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies from the University of California–Riverside, an M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU, and a teaching certificate from the Limón Institute. Her research explores the aesthetic, political, and social histories of second lining, an improvisational dance form rooted in New Orleans's African diaspora parading traditions. Her scholarship has been published in TDR: The Drama Review, TBS: The Black Scholar, and several edited volumes: Freedom’s Dance: The Second Line in New Orleans (LSU Press: 2017), The Oxford Handbook on Dance and Competition (Oxford UP: 2018), Contemporary Scholars and Artists Respond to the Baby Dolls of New Orleans (University of Mississippi Press: 2018), and The Futures of Dance Studies (University of Wisconsin Press: 2019). Dr. Carrico's research was awarded the Society of Dance History Scholars' Selma Jeanne Cohen Award for excellence in dance scholarship and supported by grants from the UC President’s Dissertation Year Fellowship Program, the UC Center for New Racial Studies, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, and the Center for Gulf South Research at Tulane University.
In 2008, Dr. Carrico co-founded the performance ensemble Goat in the Road Productions in New Orleans, with whom she has directed two international artist residencies and launched Play/Write, a youth playwriting festival, in New Orleans schools. Carrico is also a contributor to New Orleans's Data News Weekly and a consultant for the 2018 documentary film on New Orleans vernacular dance, Buckumping, by Lily Keber. She parades annually with the Ice Divas Social and Pleasure Club.
Before joining the faculty at UF, Dr. Carrico held faculty appointments in the Dance Department at Reed College, the Department of Theatre and Dance at Colorado College, the Dance Department, Anthropology Department, and Folklore & Public Culture Program at the University of Oregon, and the MFA program at Wilson College. In 2015-16, she was the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Dance Studies in/and the Humanities in the Department of Theater & Performance Studies at Stanford University.