This story appears in the March/April 2017 issue of Playboy. Subscribe

Nina Daniele is comfortable with being uncomfortable. “I find some satisfaction in it,” Miss April says. The only child of artist parents, she’s all buoyant energy and unapologetic candor. She’s also an introspective extrovert with an infectiously frequent giggle. In between modeling jobs, Nina has satisfied herself with quieter pursuits, studying photography (she uses her mom’s old Pentax K1000 to snap photos on black-and-white film) and majoring in creative writing in college. “For years, writing was all I did, and I wasn’t sure if I was living to write or writing to live. I didn’t know if it was a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy and I was doing things just so I could write about them.”

Now the native New Yorker is more interested in relishing the moment and teasing herself with what might come next. “I have a habit of finding something new every week,” she says. “I wanted to start a tie-dyed shirt business because my boyfriend gave me a tie-dyeing kit and I was like, ‘I can make a million of these!’ I wanted to weld jewelry. I wanted to be a day trader, and then I wanted to go back to school and become a psychologist. Maybe in my next life I’ll be a stockbroker.”

There is one venture Nina has stuck with: “Pole dancing was something I had always wanted to do but didn’t know how to go about it. There’s such a stigma to it.” Now nearly two years into weekly classes, she has a pole installed in her Bronx apartment. “We leave our shit at the door and watch each other express ourselves in a way society looks down on. It’s really beautiful to watch.” It has also taught her that authority can be an illusion. “When you think about women dancing, who’s really in control of the situation?”

A genuine advocate for animals, Nina rescues pit bulls and has been a vegan for as long as she can remember. Just don’t grill her on her diet. “A lot of times people ask, ‘What do you eat, lettuce? Bunny food?’ Then you end up defending yourself for something you believe in. So I don’t ever tell anybody.” The way to her heart? Directness and open body language. If you want to keep up with her, an audacious spirit is a prerequisite. “I like pushing boundaries,” she says with a sly smile.


AGE: 26 | BIRTHPLACE: Pelham, New York | CURRENT CITY: Bronx, New York

At the end of the day, we don’t have time for games. When the other person feels they have to put in so much work for your attention, they don’t feel valued. That makes me sad. The same goes for friendships. Show someone you like, love and care for them. And always text back!

I love pit bulls. I have two of them, and my dream is to have my own sanctuary for dogs on death row. They would live their lives out there or get adopted, and everything would be donation-based.

I have a plan to open my own club with dancers on platforms, and they would all wear different animal heads—boars, horses, bears, really gnarly ones. And the girls would be all voluptuous and sexy, dancing, but with grotesque heads, like reverse centaurs. Whenever I see myself older, running a business, this is it. It’s just so fucked-up that it’s kind of hot!

It has almost become trendy to say “I’m a feminist.” Why can’t you say “I support women in power; I support women who are comfortable with themselves and their bodies.” It’s not just about women. It’s about all people. Why are we separating ourselves?

I get nervous about what you might say when you wake up from anesthesia. What if I say some really fucked-up shit or things I mean deep down inside? I get nervous at the idea of my subconscious being set loose.

I find pole dancing very liberating and empowering. I think about when I would open jewelry boxes as a kid and watch the little ballerina spin around. I think there’s something really beautiful and even innocent about it. It’s freeing, and it’s a great workout.

Why is showing nipples a taboo? At the same time, the bigger deal you make of something, the bigger deal it becomes and the harder it is to explain why you feel a certain way. The whole “free the nipple” thing? Just let it go. Move on to something else. There are children dying and you want to complain about nipples? Let it go.


To see her nude pictorial, purchase the magazine here.