Founded in 1993 by David Brick, Andrew Simonet, and Amy Smith, and now under the co-direction of Brick and Smith, Headlong is one of Philadelphia's most audacious performance groups, having created over 40 dance works. The group creates collaboratively, with a focus on process, formal experimentation, audience engagement, and site-specificity. In 2011, with Center support, Headlong presented This Town Is a Mystery, a project that brought dance directly into four private homes of Philadelphia citizens—where the members of those households became the dancers. In 2016, Headlong received Center support to present The Quiet Circus, a year-long series of participatory practices conceived as an ongoing public performance at Washington Avenue Green, a one-acre site on the Delaware River waterfront.
Headlong engaged choreographer Tere O'Connor in a five-month research and choreographic project as part of the organization's continuing effort to remain porous about its artistic process. O'Connor brought new strategies to Headlong's dance studio by inviting the company's three co-directors, David Brick, Andrew Simonet, and Amy Smith, to work independently. Without the pressure to produce a finished dance, the project became a research laboratory, and expanded the company members' working methods. The project was documented in the online publication danceworkbook: Braiding / Unbraiding / Rebraiding, presented by the Center.