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Bindi Irwin may have been "terrified" about making her Dancing With the Stars debut, but the 17-year-old TV star had no problem making a splash on the dance floor.

Bindi and professional partner Derek Hough tied for the highest score of the night with a 24 out of 30. They tied with Nick Carter and Sharna Burgess in part-one of the two-part premiere.

"I was just so excited. The energy is still coursing through my veins and I'm shaking unbelievably, but for me it's something I'm so not used to, so I think I was just pouring all the passion and determination that I could into it and I was just happy to be there, really," Bindi gushed after the show to E! News.

Derek, who has won the mirrorball trophy five times, praised Bindi for her "genuine authenticity" and said the wildlife conservationist brings him a lot of joy. "One thing about her, she just reminds you of the magic. She does. It's magical. We're so lucky to be here alive and living and just having a good time. So, I love her," he said.

The duo danced to "Crocodile Rock" by Elton John, a fitting first dance for the daughter of Steve Irwin, the legendary star of The Crocodile Hunter. Bindi may be used to snakes, crocs and other wildlife that tend to scare others, but getting out of the dance floor still scared her.

"When I walked out there I was so scared, but I think that's a great thing. I think when you are scared it means you want to do a good job and you're on the verge of something amazing," she said. "I think more of us need to remember that. Seize the opportunity; even if it terrifies you, you can achieve great things."

As for conquering fears…"We have to get you tackling crocs next," Bindi told Derek. Crikey!

Dancing With the Stars season 21's two-night premiere continues tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.