Valerie Harper received a standing ovation on Dancing With The Stars this week for her foxtrot with Irish partner Tristan MacManus.

Harpers controversial participation divided many viewers when it was revealed she was given three months to live after being diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer earlier this year.

But Harper was determined to make her Dancing With The Stars debut, telling the press: 'It’s good to be alive and it’s even better to be dancing.'

Harper, 74, is the oldest contestant on season 17 of the hit show, and has been partnered with Irish dancer Tristan MacManus.

Stepping onto the stage in a floor-length blue dress, Harper and her partner danced to Some Kind of Wonderful by The Drifters.

According to the Daily Mail when host Tom Bergeron asked if anything had been troubling her during rehearsals, she answered candidly: 'Not the cancer but my sore knee.'

Then referring to her Irish dancer Tristan, she joked: 'This little slave driver is working me hard.'

As the pair danced there was hardly a dry eye in the house as the crowd watched Valerie’s foxtrot, including judge Carrie Ann Inaba, who visibly fought back tears when asked for her thoughts.

'You brought me to tears with your courage and I just appreciate you being on our show so much,' she said.

Judge Len Goodman reportedly added that Valerie showed 'ease and elegance,' while Bruno Tonioli said she was 'an inspiration to the nation.'

Valerie received 21 out of 30 points for her routine and told the audience: 'I was given a death sentence and here it is eight or nine months later. I’m way past my expiration date and I’m dancing.