Marico “Dr. Rico” Flake
Memphis native Marico “Dr. Rico” Flake is one of the most influential dancers and teachers in urban dance, especially known for helping develop and promote Memphis jookin’, a street style that carries the spirit of the Blues City. Dr. Rico has been featured on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Choreography for his work with Janelle Monáe on her music video “Tightrope.” He choreographed the first Memphis jookin’ dance tour and is a founder and leading member of the legendary jookin’ crew G-Force, responsible for establishing the first known jookin’ academy. He also helped form the international dance crew The Assassins—Warriors of Light. Dr. Rico is the co-author of The Jook, the book that codified jookin’, and he authored an online Memphis jookin’ certificate program with the International Urban Dance Academy. He’s particularly known for his focus on learning and exploring what dance teaches us about life, and what life teaches us about dance. Now, as a member of Urban Artistry, based in the DC area, his goal is to further the Human Genome Project through study of the anthropology of dance. He has traveled to a number of countries around the world, sharing the various cultures of dance in a quest to simultaneously keep traditions alive and innovation ever present.