Judges Rave About 'Red-Hot' Heather


"Dancing With the Stars" took a risk inviting Heather Mills, a former model who lost a leg in a motorcycle accident, to join the competition. She took an even bigger risk by accepting.

But it's paying off for both. Last night Mills gave a performance that had the crowd cheering and the judges raving.

Mills has said she wants to encourage other people with disabilities to experience the freedom of dancing. It's a lesson one woman in Oakland, Calif., is taking to heart.

Stephanie Bastos lost her leg in a car accident 12 years ago. She performs with the Axis Dance Company, which has dancers with and without disabilities.

"I think what Heather Mills is doing is very exciting," Bastos said. "It's very cool. She should get herself out there. People need to see, people need to be exposed to people with disabilities ... so it's not something taboo."

Bastos spent 13 years training to be a dancer before her accident. While there are prosthetics for running, skating and swimming, there are no specially made dancing prosthetics.

She said she has the most fun dancing when she's not wearing her prosthetic leg.

"I have a little more freedom, because at that point I'm in my 100 percent natural body," Bastos said.

Don't Be Afraid to Look at People With Disabilities

"Dancing With the Stars" aired Monday night with all 11 couples dancing again. The women danced the mambo, and the men danced the quickstep.

Tonight, they will announce which couple will be the first to be eliminated.

Laila Ali was in the No. 1 spot going in to this week's challenge, and the judges called hers the spiciest mambo of the night.

Joey Fatone, who was No. 2 going in to the competition, wore tails and pumped his fist in the air in what he called his "funny George Michael move," which the judges advised him to drop.

Once again, Mills didn't play it safe. She opened her performance with a back walkover, the only move of its kind in Monday's show.

The judges raved about her performance, saying "her level of difficulty was higher than anyone," her dancing was "beyond expectation" and "red-hot Heather...knows how to cut loose."

Bastos said she hoped the judges would not be sympathetic to Mills because of her disability but would judge her the same as any other contestant.

"A lot of people are afraid to look at people with disabilities, be it with a prosthetic leg or a wheelchair, even a cane," Bastos said. "And I think it's really exciting that she's getting out there in the public eye, because it's OK to look at us. It's OK to be curious."

"And it's OK to accept the exciting things that might or might not happen," she said. "For example, her leg coming off or something like that. Those are the funny, interesting things about having a disability."

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