Her father was an accomplished piano player, and her mother Callie was a professional dancer. Her younger brother Rodney and her three younger sisters all became accomplished dancers too. Linda did ballet, Wanda played the harp, and Wilda Taylor continues even now as an actor and comedienne. Nita started performing in public at age 5, when she did a decorous fan dance in a long, pink dress. After her graduation from Hollywood High School, she traveled as a dancer with a USO troupe and then joined the Jack Cole Dancers for a nine-month tour of the U.S., during which she became very proficient in both dancing and cooking. In 1950, when she was 24, Nita was diagnosed with polio; her doctors all said she would never walk again. But with the help of her mother, she recovered from the disease and within a year was back on stage, dancing and acting.
In 1946, Nita appeared in a couple of films for Columbia Pictures, most notably Rhythm and Weep with the Three Stooges. In 1947, she appeared in three more films for Columbia and also appeared in a couple of Monogram flicks, most notably as Mame in the Bowery Boys movie News Hounds. She was featured in a full-page photo on the cover of the November 28, 1949, issue of Life magazine. The article inside talked about her 7-year contract with MGM and Nita's big dance number in the new movie musical Nancy Goes to Rio; but her dance was not included in the final release (it does, however, appear in the home videoDVD version). Nita appeared in movies for MGM and Universal until 1955. She appeared as the character Sarah Higgins in Summer Stock, a new movie musical then in production starring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly.