Easier ragtime era dances like the One-Step and Foxtrot were danced freestyle, but the Maxixe was so difficult that it was usually practiced in choreographed sequences. Both of these sequences were choreographed by Richard Powers, based on steps described in ragtime era dance manuals, a 1915 silent film of Vernon and Irene Castle dancing the Maxixe, and Fred Astaire's interpretation in The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle. Fred Astaire is considered to be a primary source for the Maxixe because he watched the Castles perform it many times in 1914 when Fred and his sister Adele were young dancers in vaudeville.Argentine Tango was the brighter star on the dance floor in 1912, so to sell more dance music, some publishers began to promote the Maxixe as another form of Tango with slowed tempos to match the mood of the Tango. Some dance bands also recorded the slower Tango-style Maxixe for the phonograph, but the authentic renditions were bright, cheerful and more like a Two-Step.
Maurice Mouvet wrote in 1914, "The Brazilian Maxixe can be danced to any Two-Step, whereas the Tango can be danced only to Tango music. The Maxixe is peculiarly adapted to the American temperament. It is full of snap and life, while the Tango is slow and languorous." In other words, don't dance the Maxixe like a Tango.
During the season of 1922-23, he introduced the Brazilian Samba, the next evolutionary stage of the Maxixe, at his Montmartre dance hall Shéhérazade. The famed Afro-Brazilian orchestra Les Batutas (Os Oito Batutas) provided music for the premier.
At that time, the Samba was still unknown in England and the United States, but it didn't take long for it to spread through the ballrooms of western Europe and America. The Samba continued to evolve in Brazil, but European and American social dancers were happy with the version they learned, and kept it essentially the same for decades, not realizing that it's a snapshot of 1923 Samba, and resembles today's Brazilian Samba about as much as adults resemble their childhood photos 84 years later.