Encuentros is the name for the Duo Encuentros, Foundation Encuentros en dance school Espacio Flameno Encuentros. It does not just stand for the encounters between Jessica and Tijn but also between the artist en audience, teacher en student, the cooperation with fellow artists and the way flamenco combines with other music and dance styles.



Duo Encuentros

The duo consists of Jessica Achten and Tijn van der Sanden. They work together with other dancers, musicians and other artists. Tijn and Jessica met each other in Sevilla, Spain, where they studied flamenco. In juli 2013 they came back to the Netherlands and started with giving classes, show and therefore started their duo Encuentros, Spanish for encounters. 


Espacio Flamenco Encuentros

Since  september 2017 Jessica started her school Espacio Flamenco Encuentros for flamenco dance in Eindhoven. In oktober 2018 she opened the new location at Strijp-S, Eindhoven. There are several classes during the week for different levels. The classes will be accompanied by Tijn van der Sanden. Go in the menu to classes to find out more about her classes as well as the guitar classes of Tijn. 


Jessica Achten

Born in 1989, Tijn started playing the electric guitar at the age of 7. During high school (Eindhoven) he discovered that being a professional guitar player was his goal. At the age of 16 he started classical guitar with Hein Sanderink in the preperatory class of  The Conservatory of Tilburg . After this year he chose to go to the Conservatory of Amsterdam where they tought flamenco guitar as a minor. He followed classes with Lydia Kennedy and flamenco classes with Eric Vaarzon Morel. He had several masterclasses with David Russel, Fabio Zanon, Enno voorhorst, Lex Eisenhardt and Peter Constant. During his study in Amsterdam he was teaching classical guitar at  Ceres Music School in Utrecht. His students were mostly beginners and aged between 7 to 16 years. Playing at the NJGO (Dutch Youth Guitar Orchestra, directed by Peter Constant) during his whole study in Amsterdam, he learned about playing and performing chamber music. For some pieces he played solo parts.


At the age of 22 he graduated for classical guitar and went to Seville, Spain, to focus on the flamenco guitar by following a 1 year course at the Fundacion Christina Heeren. There, Tijn learned the art of accompanying dancers and especially singers. He attended guitar classes with Pedro Sierra (dance/singing), Niño de Pura (technique), Eduardo Rebollar (singing) and Paco Cortes (singing). In addition to the Fundacion Christina Heeren he followed classes from Tino van der Sman, Manuel de la Luz and Antonio Rey.


Currently Tijn is playing with Jessica Achten in their duo Encuentros (See: Agenda, Biography). At ‘El Candil’ (Flamenco Dance School, Eindhoven) he accompanied the dance classes given by Jessica Achten. He made the music for a documentary, and is playing in the theatre show Vaarland by Brechtje Kat.

Jessica was born in the Netherlands in 1988. When she was 4 she started with classical ballet. At the age of 9 she started Flamenco classes with Maria Penders (Estudio de Flamenco El Candil) and a few years later also other styles such as modern dance, jazz and hiphop. After secondary school she decided to develop herself in these styles and went to Seville (Spain) and Lisbon (Portugal) for 6 months, to take many classes. There she prepared herself for the auditions back in the Netherlands. In 2007 she was accepted to ‘Hoge school voor de kunsten ArtEZ' (Dance academy in Arnhem), a dance education which consisted of teaching, choreographing and performing. With modern dance, classical ballet and Jazz as the main subjects, and other styles like flamenco, improvisation, hiphop, African dance and folklore as subsidiary subjects. She wrote her thesis about the modern influences in Flamenco, for which she went to Madrid for research for 2 months. In 2011 she graduated from the dance academy.


Since flamenco continued to intrigue her, she decided to go to Spain to focus on this beautiful and yet so complicated artform. Eventually with a scholarship from ‘Het Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds’ (a fund for the development of culture) she was able to stay 1,5 years in Seville. There she had between 4 and 8 hours of classes a day, practical and theoretical classes. Besides that she trained several hours on her own every day. She studied with flamenco artists like Belén Maya, La Lupi, Leonor Leal, Rocio Molina, Rafaela Carrasco, Úrsula López, Tamara López, Andrés Marín, Ana Morales, Ángel Atienza, Andrés Peña, Manuel Betanzos, Alicia Márquez, Carmen Ledesma, Chloé Brûlé, Patricia Lozano, Rosi Navarro Villanueva, etc. This time in Seville was very important for her to delve into this culture. With all the knowledge she gained during her time in Seville, she returned to the Netherlands after 1,5 years.

Read Jessica's column about Seville: 



Recently Jessica is teaching weekly Flamenco classes in her own school 'Espacio Flamenco Encuentros' and she gives workshops on a regular basis. She has also worked as a choreographer for various shows. Besides teaching and choreographing, she is currently performing with Tijn van der Sanden in their duo ‘Encuentros’ and works with other know flamenco artists.