The lights came up, the music started, and Heather Mills danced divinely.

The animal rights crusader - who wears a prosthetic lower left leg - emerged unscathed in the first round of ABC televsion's popular show, Dancing With The Stars. The 39-year-old activist created worldwide interest after becoming the first amputee to compete in the televised U.S. dance contest.

The victim of a 1993 motorcycle accident, Heather says she has placed a brace over the limb to prevent it detaching. She says she hopes her efforts will cheer and encourage other young amputees.

The three judges praised her footwork, but told her to work on her upper body movement. Little-known in the United States, Heather Mills is a major public figure in Britain, largely due to her bitter divorce from former Beatle Paul McCartney.

The two separated last May.