Ahead of the season two release of Step Up: High Water on Wednesday, the actress exclusively tells ET what fans can expect with the new music, dance numbers, steamy romances and more.
Rivera plays the powerful Collette Jones, who is the administrator at High Water, the most competitive performing arts school in Atlanta, Georgia. Explaining why she thinks the dance drama series has found such a loyal following, she says it's because it's "just such a good binge-watch."
"When the first season came out, I was Googling at midnight, like, 'Where is it?'" she recalls. "I was texting everyone and then watched it all within, like, two days. It was so good."
According to Rivera, season two certainly "won't disappoint." The 32-year-old actress says everything picks right back up from where we left off, following a major cliffhanger where fans saw Collette's last encounter with her former lover, East-O (R. Marcos Taylor).
"So, we're kind of seeing the aftermath of what happened there, along with daily life back at High Water," she reveals. "Collette's got a lot on her plate, so you get to see how she sort of navigates it all."
Rivera says season two will also shine a spotlight on the talented dancers at High Water -- like Odalie (Jade Chynoweth), Poppy (Kendra Oyesanya) and Donre (Marcus Emanuel Mitchell) -- who were chosen to tour with Sage Odom (Ne-Yo).
"The whole season is about prepping for the tour, which is huge," she explains. "We shot in a stadium and really put it on a seat like a real tour. It was so exciting to be there and watch all of it."
Fans will also get to see where things stand between Sage and Collette, who shared plenty of flirtatious moments during the first season.
"It gets very spicy again," Rivera teases. "I know everybody was really into our sassy number in season one. But we've definitely turned up the heat on our number this season."
"I did a number with Sage that was really awesome, it's sort of my big dance moment this season," she adds. "I think everyone's really going to like it. It involves a cage dance, basically. It's great."
Rivera, who says she got a "crash course in choreography" while playing cheerleader Santana Lopez on Glee, says she's never had any formal dance training like most of the other stars featured on High Water. However, she clearly has no trouble busting a move when the script calls for it.
"I've got rhythm," she says, laughing. "I'm Puerto Rican, so I feel like it has always been in me."
Rivera reveals Collette and Sage's romance isn't the only one heating up in season two, however. She says there is plenty of other potential pairings brewing.
"I know that there is a new romance for Petrice Jones' character, Tal, and there are new hookups going on within High Water," she says. "You'll have to tune in, but I can tell you that it gets juicy."
Rivera also tells us we'll get to meet a few new faces this season -- Zo, played by dancer-choreographer Jeremy Copeland, and Nine, portrayed by Twilight's Ashley Greene.
"Zo, he is just very, very funny," Rivera raves. "He's a new student at High Water. He's a professional dancer and very much ingrained in Atlanta high society. He knows how to move around the city; he has contacts."
Nine, on the other hand, will "for sure" be a threat to Collette, according to Rivera, who says she comes in and "shakes up" Collette's world even more. ET has an exclusive clip of the ladies battling it out in the recording studio, which you can watch in the player above!
"She comes in with an agenda," Rivera explains. "She's gunning for High Water, and for all of the things that Collette holds very near and dear to her heart."
In addition to the new characters and romances, Rivera promises even "bigger" dance battles that are sure to leave your jaws dropping.
"All the numbers have really been kicked up a notch. We have a lot of numbers, but they are all awesome," she teases. "I think even if you just saw those, without watching the show, you'd still be blown away."
The "explosive" dance numbers featured in season two were choreographed by Jamaica Craft, along with guest pieces from famed choreographers like Travis Wall. Choreographer JaQuel Knight (who has worked with everyone from Beyonce to Britney Spears) will also make a guest appearance as himself.
"JaQuel did an episode and he's so awesome. I mean, he's done a million amazing things," Rivera marvels. "We also have cameos from Jermaine Dupri, Rick Ross and Todrick Hall. We had a lot of great people come on this season."
Plus, there are plenty of new dance tracks to look forward to... including more singing from Collette!
"You can expect a lot more music," Rivera teases. "We've got Timbaland as the music supervisor, so we have some really great original songs."
The all-new season of Step Up: High Water -- created by Holly Sorensen and executive produced by Adam Shankman, Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan -- will begin streaming Wednesday, March 20 on YouTube Premium. In the meantime, catch up on all the big moments you missed in season one below:
FOR MORE DANCE NEWS, 'STEP UP' YOUR INBOX WITH ET'S NEWSLETTER!