Graduated in 1972 as a dancer and teacher of classical and modern dances at Escola de Danças Clássicas do Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Nilsen Jorge worked as a professional dancer at Ballet Jovem do Rio de Janeiro and at Theatro Municipal (also in Rio de Janeiro). She received a scholarship to study at the Princess Grace School of Dance, in Monaco, where she stayed for one year. She danced at the Ballet Classique de Paris (France), Ballet de Hagen (Germany), Het National Ballet (Holland) and at the National Ballet of Portugal.
During her career as a dancer, Nilsen worked with internationally renowned choreographers such as Rudy vanDantzing, Hans van Mannen, Toer van Shaik, Jorge Trincheira, Armando Jorge, Dalal Achcar, among others. As a dance teacher, she has taught in various schools, and is the coordinator of Escola Municipal de Ballet de Portimão (Portugal), a position she has held since 1986. In 2007, she obtained a Masters degree in Linguistics from UALG. Currently, she is a PhD student in International Relations at Universidade Nova de Lisboa.