Maurice Mouvet was one of the most famous and successful dance teams around the early 1910's and lead the way for many performers that would follow. His parents were Belgian (Leige) with no one ever in show business. Had a brother named Oscar and Maurice's mother was a dressmaker who died when Maurice was just 5 years of age. Maurice was born in New York but as a young lad moved to Paris with his father and knew he wanted to be a dancer as a young boy. He had his first professional dance at the Noveau Cirque in Paris, France at age 15. Mouvet's best partners were Florence Walton and Leonora (Leona) Hughes.
Maurice Mouvet was said to have started his career on the Vaudeville Stage as a page, then later becoming a dance performer, getting a small glint of fame performing early dances such as Waltzes, Jigs, Cakewalks and Mazurkas. Later, his specialty dance and attraction was the Argentine Tango and the infamous Apache Dance which would become one of his most successful ballroom-exhibition acts of his time ( With Walton) which they performed at many rooftop theater's, Dansant's, nightclub's and ballroom's in the 1910's and 20's.
Mouvet is noted for creating many dances and dance steps such as the 'Junk Man Rag' ( A one step,)
and the Brazilian Maxixe in 1913. Mouvet is said to be the innovator of the 'American' Tango as it is danced today. Mouvet and Leona introduced his version of the Apache at the Cafe de Paris in France about 1907 whom he learned from one of the original "Gunmen of Paris" (Apaches) and even performed it before his majesty King Edward VII by his invitation.
Leona and Maurice first started learning the Argentine Tango but sadly Leona passed away due to Pneumonia in 1910 which he thought he would never replace her. For awhile Maurice took a break, but upon his return was approached by Louis Martin's secretary and was hired to dance the Apache and newly learned Tango with Madeleine D'Arville at Louis Martin's Cafe de Paris in New York. The crowds flocked to see the Apache dance at Louis Martin's with Mouvet and D'Arville. While dancing in Over the River with Eddie Foy as the star D'Arville met a nice young man and with a quick farewell note eloped and the partnership was done.
Mouvet meet Florence Walton when Flo Ziegfeld partnered them together for the 1911 Follies called "the Pink Lady," however, Maurice and Walton did finish "Over the River" together. Walton was previously a character dancer and was not accustomed to public performances of ballroom dancing but Mouvet knew right away Walton was going to be the best partner he ever had. Mouvet and Walton married in 1911 and became one of the most successful teams of the day until they divorced in 1920. His only competition would be Ned Wayburn and Vernon and Irene Castle. Mouvet Succumbed to Tuberculosis in Lausanne, Switzerland, with his Wife and Brother at his bedside.